A woman rides her bicycle with the Marina Bay Sands hotel and high-rise buildings in the background in Singapore on Sept. 4, 2023.

Roslan Rahman | AFP | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific markets rebounded after mostly falling on Wednesday, while Japan entered a technical recession as its GDP contracted for a second straight quarter.

Japan’s GDP for the fourth quarter fell 0.4% on an annualized basis, a sharp miss from the 1.4% growth expected by economists polled by Reuters. This follows a 3.3% contraction in the third quarter.

Two consecutive quarters of contraction are widely considered a technical recession.

On a quarter-on-quarter basis, it slipped 0.1%, compared with a 0.3% rise expected in the Reuters poll.

Following the contraction, Japan lost its spot as the world’s third-largest economy to Germany.

Singapore saw its fourth-quarter GDP grow 2.2% year on year, lower than the 2.5% expected. The city state also revised its third-quarter GDP growth rate from 2.8% to a sharply lower figure of 1%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 saw a late rally, rising 1.21% to close at 38,157.94 — the first time the index closed above the 38,000 mark since 1990. The broad-based Topix climbed 0.28% to end at 2,591.85.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.77%, snapping a three-day losing streak and ending at 7,605.7.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.08% and was the only major benchmark in negative territory, while the small-cap Kosdaq was 0.6% higher.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.23% higher, extending gains from Wednesday, while mainland Chinese markets are still closed for the week.

Overnight in the U.S., all three major indexes also regained some ground after Wednesday’s sell-off following hotter-than-anticipated inflation reading as traders fretted that the Federal Reserve may not cut interest rates as early as they had hoped.

The S&P 500 advanced 0.96%, while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.3%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4%.

— CNBC’s Lisa Kailai Han and Hakyung Kim contributed to this report


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