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Last Updated : Jun 08, 2015 09:15 AM IST | Source: Moneycontrol.com

Asian stocks mostly lower following Japan revised GDP

Asian stocks traded lower across the board early Monday, with investors reacting to key economic data from the region.


Asian stocks traded lower across the board early Monday, with investors reacting to key economic data from the region.


Revised government data showed Japan's revised first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) expanded an annualized 3.9 percent, much higher than the preliminary reading of a 2.4 percent increase, signaling the country's growth recovery. On a quarter-on-quarter basis, the economy grew 1 percent, higher than the preliminary reading of 0.6 percent.


Meanwhile, the country's current account balance for April came in at 1.3 trillion yen, down from 2.9 trillion yen in the previous month.

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On Friday, US stocks closed narrowly mixed as investors eyed developments in Greece and weighed a bond yield rally on a strong jobs report, which supports the case for a rate hike this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 eased 0.3 and 0.1 percent, respectively, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq inched up 0.2 percent.


Mainland markets mixed


China's Shanghai Composite index rewrote its highest level since January 2008, undeterred by an announcement from the China Securities Regulatory Commission last week that it is amending margin-trading and short-selling rules.


However, traders are likely to remain on the cautious side, considering the extreme volatility that the market saw last week, while awaiting trade data for May which are expected to show exports falling 5 percent on-year and imports plunging 10.7 percent on-year in May, according to a Reuters poll.


Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index dropped 0.6 percent at the start of trade.


Nikkei sags 0.4 percent


Japan's Nikkei 225 index erased earlier gains to fall into negative territory, as a stronger yen offset the impact of upbeat growth data. The dollar-yen was last quoted at 125.39, with the yen gaining ground of around 0.2 percent against the greenback.


Export-oriented stocks were mostly lower due to the currency; blue-chip Toyota Motor and Nissan eased 1.3 percent each, while Sony and Panasonic lost 1.3 and 1.1 percent, respectively.


Following higher energy prices last Friday, oil-related counters got a boost. JX Holdings and Inpex advanced 1.1 and 0.3 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, airlines and power plays were stung by the firmer oil prices, with Japan Airlines and Tokyo Electric Power receding 1.7 and 2 percent, respectively.


Kospi slips 0.2 percent


South Korea's Kospi index inched down amid worries about the outbreak of a deadly respiratory disease in the country.


The spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which could dampen consumer spending and hurt key sectors such as tourism, is ramping up the pressure on the nation's central bank to cut interest rates as early as this week, a central bank source reportedly told Reuters last Friday.


Most tourism-related plays trimmed losses by mid-morning trade. Hanatour Service reversed a lower open to elevate 0.8 percent, while Hotel Shilla —a hotel and duty-free shop operator— hovered near the flatline.


However, major retailers Lotte Shopping and Hyundai Department Store eased 0.7 and 1.4 percent, respectively.


Australian markets are closed for a public holiday.



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First Published on Jun 8, 2015 08:00 am
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