Asia stocks trade higher; Japan’s second-quarter GDP revised lower

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were higher on Tuesday morning, as Japan released revised gross domestic product figures for the second quarter.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.37% in early trade while the Topix index gained 0.22%.

Japan’s revised GDP figures for the April-June quarter showed the country’s economy shrinking an annualized 28.1%, according to second preliminary estimates released by the Cabinet Office. It was worse than preliminary estimates released in mid-August, which had shown the country’s economy shrinking 27.8% on an annualized basis in April-June.

Tuesday’s revised GDP figure compared with a median forecast for a 28.6% contraction by economists in a Reuters poll.

Following the data release, the Japanese yen traded at 106.25 per dollar after seeing levels below 106.2 yesterday against the greenback.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.59%. Shares in Australia also saw gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 trading 0.99% higher.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.22% higher.

Investors will likely continue monitoring geopolitical developments.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Monday accused Washington of “blatant hegemony” after the U.S. Department of Defense said it was considering adding Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation to the Commerce Department’s so-called entity list. SMIC is China’s largest chipmaker.

Meanwhile, tensions are also escalating between the U.K. and European Union, putting at risk chances of a post-Brexit trade deal in the coming months.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.719 after earlier seeing levels above 93.0.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7281 after seeing a momentary fall below $0.726 late last week.

Oil prices were mixed in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.4% to $42.18 per barrel. U.S. crude futures, on the other hand, slipped 1.21% to $39.29 per barrel.