April 11, 2021

Asia stocks dip after historic U.S. GDP contraction; China’s manufacturing data awaited

Stocks in Asia Pacific were mostly lower in Friday morning trade following a record contraction in U.S. gross domestic in the second quarter.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.62% in early trade while the Topix index shed 0.72%. The Kospi in South Korea slipped 0.17%.

Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dipped 0.88%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded largely flat.

Data released Thursday by the U.S. government showed GDP dropping 32.9% in the second quarter — the worst drop ever, with the closest previously coming in mid-1921. Still, the data print was not as bad as feared, with economists polled by Dow Jones having expected a 34.7% decline. U.S. weekly jobless claims also came in at 1.434 million, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, roughly in line with estimates.

Looking ahead to the Friday trading day, China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index for July is set to be released at around 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN. Investors will watch the data release for clues to China’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia are closed for a holiday on Friday.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 225.92 points to close at 26,313.65 while the S&P 500 shed 0.4% to end its trading day at 3,246.22. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4% to 10,587.81.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.784 after declining from levels above 93.8 earlier in the trading week.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.61 per dollar after strengthening from levels above 105.3 against the greenback this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.72 after yesterday’s turbulent trading saw it slide below $0.716.

Oil prices were down in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.84% to $43.30 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.83% to $40.25 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: Official Purchasing Managers’ index for July at 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN

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