By Laura He, MarketWatch
HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Japan stocks retreated on Thursday, as investors remained cautious before a batch of key economic data due out on the next day.
The Japanese government is scheduled to release early Friday reports on the consumer price index, unemployment rate, house spending, factory output and retail sales.
The Nikkei Average /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +1.40% fell 0.5%, while the broader Topix index /zigman2/quotes/210598092/delayed JP:180460 +1.41% dropped 0.4%. The yen /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY +0.0009% turned slightly stronger, with the dollar buying ¥103.747, down from ¥103.907 a day earlier.
IT services provider Fujitsu Ltd. /zigman2/quotes/208459594/delayed JP:6702 +0.57% declined 2.1%, semiconductor firm Renesas Electronics Corporation /zigman2/quotes/203872935/delayed JP:6723 +0.33% lost 1.6%, industrial-robot manufacturer Fanuc Corporation /zigman2/quotes/202054799/delayed JP:6954 +4.05% fell 1%, and console maker Nintendo Co., Ltd. shed 0.9%.
In Hong Kong, stocks extended its losing streak to three sessions, with the Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.99% falling 0.7%.
China Mengniu Dairy Co. /zigman2/quotes/208034915/delayed HK:2319 +1.28% /zigman2/quotes/204321183/delayed CIADF +7.23% , one of the nation’s largest dairy-product producers, tumbled 6.7% following its earnings report.
Over on the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.30% finished 0.6% lower.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO +1.08% ended down 0.5%, while the Australian dollar /zigman2/quotes/210560947/realtime/sampled AUDUSD +0.4874% strengthened to 93.64 U.S. cents from 93.36 U.S. cents a day ago.
Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.85% rose less than 0.1%, extending its streak of gains to five, while Taiwan’s Taiex index dipped 0.1%.