Japanese shares down on revised growth data


Japanese shares closed lower on Monday as revised growth data showed that the economy grew less than initially forecast in the fourth quarter.

The 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.

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