Tue, 19 Oct 2021

SYDNEY, NSW, Australia - Most Asian stock markets rose on Friday, however, the ASX fell sharply as the Australian market adapted to an iron ore price that is less than half of what it was four months ago.

Iron ore is Australia's largest export, and its biggest customer is China. Diplomatic relations between the two Asian-Pacific nations are at an all-time low. On Friday iron ore was trading at $110 (USD) a tonne, well down from its high of $230 recorded in May of this year.

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The freefall in price has put shares in Australia's largest iron ore producers, Fortescue, BHP, and Rio Tinto, under pressure.

On Friday the Australian All Ordinaries shed 56.90 points or 0.73 percent to 7,742.90.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 176.71 points or 0.58 percent to 30,500.05.

China's Shanghai Composite gained 6.87 points or 0.19 percent to 3,613.97.

The Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 216.91 points or 0.88 percent to close at 24,884.66.

The U.S. dollar drifted lower after making solid headway overnight. The euro edged up to 1.1773. The British pound was slightly higher at 1.3792. The Japanese yen softened to 109.94. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9270.

The Canadian dollar rose to 1.2650. The Australian dollar was a fraction stronger at 0.714. The New Zealand dollar remained friendless at 0.70.77.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrials fell 63.07 points or 0.18 percent to 34,751.32, Business Sun reported.

The Standard and Poor's 500 slipped 6.95 points or 0.16 percent to 4,473.75.

Tech stocks fared slightly better with the Nasdaq Composite climbing 20.39 points or 0.13 percent to 15,181.92.

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