Australian dollar slides as economy enters into recession; Asia-Pacific markets higher

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade as stocks on Wall Street notched new records overnight.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 led gains among the region’s major markets as it jumped 1.54%.

The moves came as a data release showed Australia’s gross domestic product falling 7% in the June quarter — the “largest quarterly fall on record” — according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). That followed a 0.3% fall in the March quarter, said the ABS.

Following the data release, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7343, slipping from an earlier high of $0.7381.

Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher in early trade, with the Shanghai composite up slightly while the Shenzhen component added 0.306%. 

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.33% in morning trade while the Topix index added 0.23%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.29%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lagged as it slipped 0.46%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.23% higher.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.8% to close at 3,526.65 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.4% to end its trading day at 11,939.67. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also jumped 215.61 points, or 0.8%, to close at 28,645.66.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.411 following an earlier high of 92.465.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.83% to $45.96 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also advanced 0.87% to $43.13 per barrel.