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Asia report: Markets rise as Japan GDP figures worsen

Tue, 8th Sep 2020 10:58

(Sharecast News) - Markets in Asia finished higher across the board on Tuesday, as investors digested the latest data showing a larger contraction in Japan's economy than previously thought.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up 0.8% at 23,274.13, as the yen weakened 0.06% against the dollar to last trade at JPY 106.33.

Technology giant SoftBank Group was down 0.61%, while among the benchmark's other major components, robotics specialist Fanuc was up 0.73%, and Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing advanced 1.77%.

The broader Topix index was ahead 0.69% by the end of trading in Tokyo, closing at 1,620.89.

Revised gross domestic product (GDP) figures for Japan showed the country's economy shrinking by 28.1% year-on-year for the quarter ended 30 June.

That was worse than the 27.8% contraction reported in preliminary estimates in mid-August, but was still slightly better than the 28.6% shrinkage economists had pencilled in according to a Reuters poll.

"[Yoshihide] Suga, the favourite to succeed [prime minister Shinzo] Abe, says that Abenomics will continue from a monetary, fiscal standpoint and will not hesitate to take further economic action if required," noted SquaredFinancial chief market analyst Rony Nehme.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was 0.72% firmer at 3,316.42, and the smaller, technology-centric Shenzhen Composite added 0.38% to 2,248.20.

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.74% at 2,401.91, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong managed gains of 0.14% to 24,624.34.

The blue-chip technology stocks were both higher in Seoul, with Samsung Electronics up 3.89%, and chipmaker SK Hynix adding 1.28%.

Geopolitical tensions remained at the top of the agenda for traders on Tuesday, as China accused the United States of "bullying" amid the launch of a global data security push during the day.

It came as the Trump administration continues to work to have countries restrict Chinese technology companies, after the US president recently suggested the US economy "decouples" from China, effectively refusing to do business with it.

Oil prices were lower at the end of the Asian day, with Brent crude last down 1.55% at $41.36 per barrel, and West Texas Intermediate slipping 1.87% to $38.35.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.06% to 6,007.80, while across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 gained 0.31% to 11,895.63.

The down under dollars were both weaker on the greenback, with the Aussie last off 0.28% at AUD 1.3781, and the Kiwi retreating 0.46% to NZD 1.5012.

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