Japanese Shares Down On Revised Growth Data

Japanese shares headed lower on Monday as revised growth data showed that the economy grew less than initially forecast in the fourth quarter.The economy grew 0.4% between October and December compared with the previous quarter, lower than the preliminary reading and forecasts of 0.6%.

On an annualised basis, it grew 1.5%, below the 2.2% initial reading on weaker business spending.

In reaction to the data, the benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 1% to 18,785.5.

The dollar was at 120.61 yen, not far from Friday’s three-month high of 121.29.

Analysts said the data reiterated that the world’s third largest economy struggled to emerge from a recession last year.

China trade surplus

Chinese shares also opened lower despite data over the weekend showing the country’s trade surplus hit a record $60.6bn (£40.3bn) in February, as exports grew.

Exports were up 48.3% year-on-year to $169.2bn – above expectations – and imports dropped by a fifth to $108.6bn.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.8% to 3,215.22, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1% lower at 23,922.26.

Investors are awaiting a flurry of economic data on Tuesday including inflation figures.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.3% to 5,823.

Shares were lower, tracking the losses on Wall Street after strong US jobs data on Friday boosted the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

South Korean shares followed the downwards trend with the Kospi index down 0.7% to 1,999.53.

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