Japanese shares down on revised growth data

JAPAN, March 9: he 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 18,790.55.

The dollar was at 120.82 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 rose after data over the weekend showed 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 up 1.89% to 3,302.41, but Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.17% to 24,123.05.

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

In Australia, shares hit a nine-week low, tracking the losses on Wall Street after strong US jobs data on Friday boosted the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed 1.3% to at 5,821.3 – its biggest fall since 6 January and its lowest close since 12 February.

Meanwhile, South Korean shares fell to a three-month low.

The Kospi index finished lower 1% to 1,992.82 points – which was also the sharpest daily fall in nearly two months.