Asia Mixed as Japanese GDP Beats

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed on Friday, as Chinese data showed food inflation soared in July while Japan’s economy grew at a greater pace than expected.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 91.47 points, or 0.4%, to 20.684.82

Japan’s economy saw its third straight quarterly expansion in the three months that ended in June, growing at an annualized rate of 1.8% in the period, according to government data on Friday. That was much better than a median forecast for 0.4% growth.

Compared against the previous quarter, gross domestic product gained 0.4%, also beating expectations.

Capital expenditure also rose 1.5% against the previous quarter, while private consumption grew 0.6%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index dumped 181.47 points, or 0.7%, to 25,939.30

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 fell 35.76 points, or 1%, to 3,633.53.

China’s consumer price index in July rose 2.8% on-year — its fastest year-on-year pace since February 2018, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. In particular, food prices soared in July to 9.1% from a year ago, amid surging prices of pork as the country battles African swine fever.

The producer price index for that period fell more than expected. It declined 0.3% year-on-year in July, the largest decline in annual terms since August 2016, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China fixed its midpoint for the yuan at 7.0136 against the dollar on Friday — the second time this week the benchmark rate was set weaker than 7. The onshore yuan last traded at 7.0478 against the greenback, and the offshore yuan changed hands at 7.0734 per dollar.

The Chinese currency came into sharper focus this week after it weakened past the seven-yuan-per-dollar mark on Monday for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis and sent global markets swooning.

In other markets

Bourses in Singapore and Taiwan were shuttered for holiday

The Kospi in Korea gained 17.14 points, or 0.9%, to 1,937.75

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 shaved off 1.09 points to 10,873.21

In Australia, the ASX 200 added 16.29 points, or 0.3%, to 6,584.43