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Asian Equities Fall; Japan Down 2.3% as GDP Shrinks More Than Expected

Stock MarketsDec 09, 2018 10:08PM ET
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Investing.com - Asian equities fell in morning trade on Monday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 ddown more than 2.3% after data showed the country’s gross domestic product shrank more than expected in the third quarter.

The GDP shrank by an annualised 2.5%, compared with an initial estimate of a 1.2% contraction and against economists' median forecast for a 1.9% decline, revised data from the Cabinet Office showed.

Japan Display Inc (T:6740)’s share prices slumped as much as 9.09% after the company said it had no plans to cut production of its smartphone panels this month, following reports which said it was planning to do so.

Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite and the Shenzhen Composite were down 0.9% and 1.3% respectively by 10:00 PM ET (03:00 GMT). Chinese customs data showed on Saturday that the country’s November exports rose 5.4% from a year earlier, compared to the expected 10% jump.

Annual growth for exports to all of China's major partners slowed significantly, according to the data.

On the other hand, import grew at 3%, the slowest since October 2016.

"China's November trade data missed expectations by a hefty margin," said analysts from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in a morning note.

"Softer export growth reflects slower global growth and the fading effect of US importers' front‑loading shipments to avoid increases in tariffs. Falling import growth points to softening domestic demand. But we expect Chinese fiscal stimulus to support imports in 2019," they said.

China-U.S. tension remained in focus as China’s vice foreign minister summoned the U.S. ambassador Terry Branstad in protest over the arrest of Huawei Technologies Co.’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou.

Meng was arrested in Vancouver on Dec. 1 for allegedly violating American sanctions. A posting on the Chinese ministry website said U.S. actions have violated the “legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and are extremely bad in nature,” and that “China will take further action based on the U.S. actions.”

Since the beginning of 2018, the U.S. has pressured European countries and other allies to limit the use of Huawei’s technology.

Elsewhere in Asia, South Korea’s KOSPI was down 1.4%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index also declined 1.9%.

Down under, Australia’s ASX 200 slid 2%.

Asian Equities Fall; Japan Down 2.3% as GDP Shrinks More Than Expected
 

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