Asian shares fall on North Korea nuclear test

Asian shares fell again on Friday after North Korea shook markets with its most powerful nuclear test yet.

Shares fell from three day highs on Thursday, before stumbling further on Friday after a fifth nuclear test from North Korea that had more power than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. A statement from North Korea said it had mastered the ability to mount a warhead on a ballistic missile.

South Korea’s KOSPI index was down 1.3 percent by close, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.55 percent. China’s CSI 300 also closed 0.25 percent down.

Iran oil production slows, despite plans

Iran’s oil output growth has slowed, according to Reuters and OPEC data, suggesting that the country may be struggling to fulfil plans to raise production to unprecedented highs.

Iran have just been freed from sanctions against their oil, causing them to shun all cooperation with OPEC states to freeze oil production and combat the oversupplied market. Tehran had planned to hike oil production, pushing output up to 3.64 million barrels per day.

However, output has stagnated since June and remains under their production target. The country have since signalled it may be prepared to rejoin OPEC talks and possibly join an output freeze.

German exports latest in weak data from Europe

German exports fell 10 percent year-on-year in July, the latest in a series of disappointing trade data from Europe’s industrial capital.

Imports also fell 6.5 percent, with the country’s trade surplus shrinking to 19.5 billion euros. The figures, published by the Federal Statistics Office on Friday, suggest a worrying impact on Europe’s biggest economy in the wake of Brexit.

The figures come just one day after the ECB failed to announce a further stimulus programme after the current one’s expiry in March 2017.

ING economist Carsten Brzeski commented: “A further cooling of the economy in the months ahead should give more support to just-started discussions about fiscal stimulus.”