SYDNEY, NSW, Australia -
Stocks in Asia gyrated on Thursday as investors continue to fret about the ramifications of the Delta variant, while economic data out of China disappointed.
The producer price index (PPI) in China soared 9.50 percent last month, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). It was the biggest jump in thirteen years.
The rise reflects a huge run-up in the cost of commodities, which is wreaking havoc on China's manufacturing sector, putting a large percentage of factories under pressure.
An unwelcome derivative of this is a mini-collapse in the iron ore price, which has declined 13 percent in the past week. The Australian stock market took a beating as a result with mining giant Rio Tinto losing 2.50 percent to close at $105.50.
The Australian All Ordinaries index finished the day down 148.10 points or 1.90 percent at 7,658.90.
The Japanese market which has been rallying since the mooted resignation of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga last Friday, finally took a breather. The Nikkei 225 fell 173.02 points or 0.53 percent to 30,008.19.
Surprisingly the key index in China closed higher. The Shanghai Composite gained 17.94 points or 0.49 percent to 3,693.13.
The Hang Seng in Hong Kong did worst, falling 604.93 points, or 2.30 percent, to close at 25,716.00.
The U.S. dollar was little changed. The euro was steady at 1.1821. The British pound traded in a tight range at 1.3773. The Japanese yen edged up to 109.96. The Swiss franc was unchanged at 0.9201.
The Canadian dollar softened to 1.2718. The Australian dollar was unmoved at 0.7366. The New Zealand dollar was a fraction higher at 0.7104.
Overnight on Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite dropped 87.69 points or 0.57 percent at 15,286.64, according to Business Sun.
The Standard and Poor's 500 edged down 5.96 points or 0.13 percent to 4,514.07.
The Dow Jones industrials dropped 68.93 points or 0.20 percent to 35,031.07.