Asian stocks were mixed Wednesday, with Tokyo unchanged after investors shrugged off data showing a contraction in the Japanese economy, and with the market digesting earnings news in Australia.
Japan’s Nikkei was flat after data showed that the country’s real gross domestic product shrank by 1.7% in the April to June period, slightly better than expectations of a 1.9% quarter-on-quarter fall. On an annualized basis, the economy shrank by 6.8%. The fall coincides with a hike in Japan’s consumption tax, which was increased to 8% at the beginning of April.
The yen was little moved in Asian trade, last at 102.26 to the dollar. With the data offering few surprises, trading in Tokyo was subdued after a series of recent volatile sessions that saw the Nikkei plunge 3% on Friday before bouncing back 2.4% on Monday. Activity was also quiet ahead of the annual ‘Obon’ midsummer holiday period—during which many traders in Japan go on vacation.
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