Breaking News Near Me | Trending News

Asia-Pacific stocks mostly slip; Japan’s economy shrinks less than expected in the first quarter

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mostly lower in Tuesday afternoon trade, as investors reacted to the release of Japan’s revised first-quarter gross domestic product figures.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 0.19% while the Topix index traded about 0.1% higher.

Revised government data released Tuesday showed Japan’s economy shrank 3.9% in the first quarter, an improvement from the initial estimate of a 5.1% contraction. The revised gross domestic product compared against economists’ median forecast in a Reuters poll for a 4.8% contraction.

“We expect the economy will experience another contraction in Q2 given the extended restrictions, which will weigh heavily especially on the services sector,” Makoto Tsuchiya, assistant economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a Tuesday note. “However, we remain optimistic that the pace of recovery will pick up in H2 as domestic demand recovers, supported by increased vaccinations, while foreign demand should continue to support the manufacturing sector.”

Mainland Chinese stocks declined by Tuesday afternoon, with the Shanghai composite declining 0.51% while the Shenzhen component fell 0.807%. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index dipped 0.35%.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi sat below the flatline. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia edged about 0.1% lower.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares slipped 0.26%.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 struggled to reach a record high, slipping roughly 0.1% on the day to 4,226.52. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 126.15 points to 34,360.24 while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.49% to 13,881.72.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.062 following an earlier low of 89.955.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.42 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7742, largely holding on to gains after last week’s climb from below $0.768.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures dipping 0.98% to $70.79 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 0.92% to $68.59 per barrel.

Leave a Reply