Asian Equities Lower Despite Nikkei’s Gain

Asian shares slipped on Wednesday after a mixed day on Wall Street, though Japan’s better-than-expected economic growth lifted the Nikkei to a 15-year high.  The dollar scaled a two-month high against the yen after upbeat U.S. housing data, and as the euro remained pressured by expectations that the European Central Bank would increase its bond-buying stimulus as well as on fresh concerns about Greece.

Athens will not make a payment to the International Monetary Fund that falls due on June 5 if there is no deal with its creditors by then, the government’s parliamentary speaker said on Wednesday.  European shares were seen giving back some of the previous session’s gains, with financial spreadbetters expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE to open around 0.1 percent lower, and Germany’s DAX .GDAXI and France’s CAC 40 .FCHI were each seen down about 0.4 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down about 0.2 percent.  But the Nikkei stock index .N225 ended up 0.9 percent at a fresh 15-year peak, catching a tailwind from a weaker yen and after data showed Japan’s economy grew at a 2.4 percent annualized rate in the January-March period. That was its fastest pace in a year, beating the consensus estimate for 1.5 percent growth.