Asian Shares Edge Lower On Chinese Recovery Concerns

Asian stocks ended lower on Monday as China published mixed data, adding to concerns about the economic recovery in the world’s second-largest economy. Japanese markets were closed for Marine Day.

China’s GDP logged annual growth of 6.3 percent in the second quarter, faster than the 4.5 percent expansion in the first quarter, data from the National Bureau of Statistics revealed. However, this was weaker than economists’ forecast of 7.3 percent.

On a quarterly basis, GDP was up 0.8 percent, weaker than the 2.2 percent growth in the first quarter.

Industrial production posted an increase of 4.4 percent from a year ago in June, better than the expected 2.7 percent growth. At the same time, retail sales advanced 3.1 percent, slightly weaker than the forecast of 3.2 percent.

In the first half of the year, fixed asset investment grew 3.8 percent compared to expectations of 3.5 percent.

China’s Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.9 percent to 3,209.63 on concerns about weakening GDP growth. Hong Kong markets remained shut all day due to a warning issued for Typhoon Talim.

Seoul stocks ended modestly lower, with the Kospi finishing 0.4 percent lower at 2,619, snapping a four-day winning streak after U.S. Federal Reserve officials said it was too early to declare victory on inflation.

Investors also awaited June trade figures for direction. LG Chem, Hyundai Motor and Kia fell 1-2 percent.

Australian markets finished marginally lower as investors looked ahead to the release of unemployment figures due later in the week for clues to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s rate decisions.

Shares of Endeavour Group, spun off from grocer Woolworths in 2021, slumped 10 percent after the Victorian state government unveiled new reforms to reduce gambling harm at venues with electronic gaming machines.

Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX-50 Index fell 0.6 percent to 11,938.92.

U.S. stocks finished mostly lower on Friday but posted solid weekly gains as earnings season kicked off and new data showed consumers are feeling more confident about easing inflation.

The Dow edged up 0.3 percent following upbeat earnings results from JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Citigroup shares fell after the bank’s profit and sales dropped. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slid 0.2 percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.1 percent.

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