Daily Outlook

Asia-Pacific markets mixed as IMF raises global economic growth forecast

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday trade as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its growth forecast for the global economy this year. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.31% while the Topix index gained 0.46%. South Korea’s Kospi slipped fractionally. Mainland Chinese stocks were lower by the afternoon: The Shanghai composite dipped slightly while the Shenzhen component declined fractionally. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.21%, with shares of Chinese tech giant Alibaba rising 3.31%.

China’s industrial profits rose 4.1% year-on-year in 2020, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Wednesday. For December, industrial profits in China soared 20.1% year-on-year. Shares in Australia dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 declining 0.66%. Australia’s consumer price index rose 0.9% quarter-on-quarter in the December quarter, according to data released by the country’s Bureau of Statistics. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.29%.

In its latest World Economic Outlook published Tuesday, the IMF now expects the global economy to grow 5.5% this year. That’s a 0.3 percentage point increase from October’s forecasts. Global coronavirus virus infections recently topped the 100 million mark, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. That comes as new and more contagious virus mutations circulate and send infection rates surging.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 dipped 0.2% to close at 3,849.57 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 22.90 points to finish its trading day at 30,937.10. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.1% to close at 13,626.06.

Asia-Pacific markets mixed as IMF raises global economic growth forecast, CNBC, Jan 27

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