Stocks Improve, China Exports Fall

Baystreet Foreign Markets Wrap |

Stocks in major Asian stock markets mostly closed higher on Friday. Meanwhile, China's trade with the U.S. declined in the first half of the year, amid an impasse between the two economic giants.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 42.37 points, or 0.2%, to 21,685.90.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.34 against the U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 108.0 in the previous session

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index gathered 39.82 points, or 0.1%, to 28,471.62.

Gross domestic product in Singapore fell 3.4% in the April-June period as compared to the previous quarter on an annualized and seasonally adjusted basis, according to preliminary data released Friday. That widely missed expectations of a 0.1% quarter-on-quarter increase.

Compared with a year earlier, GDP grew 0.1% in the second quarter — the slowest year-on-year growth since the second quarter of 2009 — also less than the forecast of a 1.1% expansion.

Despite the poorer-than-expected data print, Singapore's markets recovered from their earlier slip and saw gains (see below)

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6999 after trading below $0.695 earlier in the week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 regained 23.51 points, or 0.6%, to 3,808.73

Data on Friday showed that China's dollar-denominated exports fell 1.3% in June from a year ago while imports fell 7.3% in the same period. Economists had expected China's June exports to have declined 2% from a year ago, while imports were expected to have contracted 4.5% from a year earlier.

In the first half of the year, China's total trade with the U.S. was down 9%, customs data showed.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index added 6.08 points, or 0.3%, to 2,086.66

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index moved higher 6.89 points, or 0.2%, to 3,357.34

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index descended 19.07 points, or 0.2%, to 10,824.35

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 garnered 14.11 points, or 0.1%, to 10,701.43

In Australia, the ASX 200 slipped 19.59 points, or 0.3%, to 6,696.55

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