Asian Stocks Slide on Economic Data

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Asian Stocks Slide on Economic Data

Asian stocks headed lower from a six month high on Wednesday tracking declines on Wall Street and concern by investors as they looked ahead to China’s announcement of its annual growth projection and US economic data.

In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei slid 1% to 18,626.62 as telecom companies posted losses. The Topix index declined from its highest since 2007 on the disappointing data.

Reports by the BBC indicate that the MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined 0.3% to 146.00 on Wednesday morning after closing Tuesday at its highest since September 10.

In China, however, there was marked growth in the markets after a survey showed that the country’s service sector grew in the month of February with new orders rising at the highest pace in 3 months.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% to 3,285.75 whole the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong remained flat at 24,699.17. Futures for the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index slipped 0.2% while contracts traded on the FTSE China A50 index slid 0.3%.

“The lack of fresh sparks has prompted investors to take profits and wait for new signals,” Matthew Sherwood, the Sydney-based head of investment markets research at Perpetual Ltd told Bloomberg.

“The market is starting to show signs of fatigue and is now lacking momentum as earnings downgrades begin to overpower the impact of increased monetary stimulus and an improving U.S. economy.”

Chinese e commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited fell 2.9% in New York trading- its lowest since debuting in September. This decline was caused by concerns that the company’s growth might be slowing fuelled by better than projected earnings reported by competitor JD.com.

The Australian sharemarket declined 0.54% on the back of tepid economic data. Official data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that the economy grew at a lower than expected rate of 0.5% for the December quarter.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed 32.3 points or 0.54% lower at 5901.6 with the All Ordinaries fell 31.4 points or 0.53% to close at 5871.6.

To contact the reporter of this story; Jonathan Millet at john@forexminute.com