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Asian stocks: Japan rises after slightly better GDP, others hit by Fed fears

Published 06/09/2024, 11:09 PM
© Reuters.

Investing.com-- Asian stocks were a mixed bag on Monday, with Japanese markets rising on a slightly positive revision in gross domestic product data, while other Asian markets sank on resurgent concerns over U.S. interest rates.

Holidays in China, Hong Kong and Australia also kept trading volumes languid.

Regional markets took a weak lead-in from Wall Street, which fell on Friday following a blowout nonfarm payrolls report. U.S. futures steadied in Asian trade. 

Risk sentiment was also somewhat hit by the European Union elections, which showed a broader shift towards right-wing and far-right parties. French President Emmanuel Macron called for snap legislative elections later in June after his party was beaten by Marine Le Pen’s far-right party in the EU vote. 

Japanese stocks rise as GDP improves 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.7%, as did the broader TOPIX index. 

GDP data for the first quarter was revised to show a slightly smaller contraction than initially estimated, especially as capital spending during the quarter shrank less than expected. 

While the revision indicated that the Japanese economy was not in as dire straits as initially perceived, the GDP data still showed the economy shrank in the first quarter, amid pressure from weak consumption.

The reading comes just days before a Bank of Japan meeting later this week, where the central bank is expected to tighten policy by reducing its pace of asset purchases. But the weak GDP data also raised questions over how much headroom the BOJ has to tighten policy further. 

Asian stocks sink with Fed, CPI data on tap 

Broader Asian markets retreated, with South Korea’s KOSPI losing 0.7%, while Philippine shares lost about 1%. 

On the other hand, futures for India’s Nifty 50 index pointed to a positive open, with the index set to hit more record highs after the results of the 2024 general elections sparked a heavy dose of volatility last week. 

Investors were largely risk-averse ahead of a Federal Reserve meeting later this week, where the central bank is expected to keep rates static and offer more cues on policy.

Markets had sharply pared expectations of a September rate cut by the Fed after a blowout nonfarm payrolls report on Friday. 

U.S. consumer price index inflation data is also due this week, coming before the Fed rate decision on Wednesday.

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