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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Australia says economy bounced back to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter

Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Australia says economy bounced back to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday morning trade, with official data showing higher-than-expected growth in Australia’s economy for the first quarter. The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.22% while the Topix index climbed 0.67%. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.25%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.36%. Mainland Chinese stocks also declined as the Shanghai composite fell slightly and the Shenzhen component dipped 0.217%.

Meanwhile, Australian stocks advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.7%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded fractionally higher. In corporate developments, shares of Japan’s Toyota and Honda rose 1.5% and 4.25%, respectively. Those gains came despite reports that the automakers have temporarily suspended production in Malaysia due to country’s lockdown, which started Tuesday.

Australia’s gross domestic product rose 1.8% from last quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis in the first three months of the year, according to official data released Wednesday. That compared against expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.5% increase. Following the data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.776, stronger than levels below $0.772 seen earlier this week.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.868 — weaker than levels above 90 seen earlier this week. The Japanese yen traded at 109.59 per dollar, stronger than levels around 109.6 seen against the greenback yesterday. Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.63% to $70.69 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.58% to $68.11 per barrel.

Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Australia says economy bounced back to pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter, CNBC, Jun 2

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