Asian Equities Lower after Weak U.S. Lead

Asian shares dipped on Thursday following Wall Street’s decline overnight and lackluster regional data while the greenback consolidated gains on the back of upbeat U.S. economic news.  South Korea’s economy recorded its weakest expansion in six years in the second quarter, battered by a deadly virus outbreak and poor exports, while Japan reported strengthening export growth in June but concern remained about how shipments to China might be affected by its slowing economy.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS slipped 0.2 percent but still holding well above a near 1-1/2 year low hit on July 8.  Tokyo’s Nikkei .N225 rose 0.4 percent, helped by a weaker yen, while Australian shares .AXJO were off 0.2 percent.

Capital flow trends suggest money managers are slowly turning more bullish towards the region’s growth prospects within the broader emerging market bloc.  “Asia remains one of the bright spots in the global economy with China and India remaining committed to the broader economic reforms agenda,” said Kenneth Akintewe, a portfolio manager at Aberdeen Asset Management, which globally has $490.8 billion in assets under management.