Asian markets fall as Yellen fails to inspire

Guy Bentley
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Asian markets are falling across the board as investors failed to be inspired by Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress on the strength of the US economy.

There continues to be significant uncertainty over China's economic outlook. Volatility in the yuan has picked up as the People's Bank of China attempts to weaken the nation's currency.

The Federation of Logistics and Purchasing will release it's manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) on Saturday, which is expected to show to fall to a 17-month low, according to a survey of economists conducted by Bloomberg.

However, Japan's economy has picked up after after a bounce in retail sales of 1.4 per cent month-on-month in January, ahead of a hike in the country's consumption tax. Industrial production also rose four per cent month-on-month, significantly above analyst expectations.

The Nikkei is down 0.9 per cent while the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index has fallen 0.1 per cent so far. South Korea's Kospi is experiencing a mild decline of 0.04 per cent, but the Tokyo Price Index is down by a heftier 0.8 per cent. Shanghai's Stock Exchange Composite Index is also down 0.6 per cent.