Asia Markets

Asia-Pacific stocks rise; Japan's second-quarter GDP revised lower

Key Points
  • Japan's revised GDP figures for the second quarter released Tuesday showed the country's economy shrinking an annualized 28.1% in April-June, according to second preliminary estimates released by the Cabinet Office.
  • That was worse than preliminary estimates released in mid-August, which had shown the Japan's GDP shrinking 27.8% on an annualized basis in April-June.
  • Shares of Chinese bottled water firm Nongfu Spring surged more than 80% from their issue price in the opening seconds of their debut in Hong Kong. The stock later pared some of those gains, but still rose more than 50% by the market close in the city.

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

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 0.8% to close at 23,274.13 while the Topix index ended the trading day 0.69% higher at 1,620.89.

Japan's revised GDP figures for the April-June quarter showed the country's economy shrinking at 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 106.26 per dollar after seeing an earlier low of 106.31 against the greenback.

The April-June period was "definitely the worst quarter" for the Japanese economy since World War II, according to Takuji Okubo, director for North Asia at The Economist Corporate Network. In the medium term, the Japanese economy is "on track to recovery," he told CNBC's "Squawk Box Asia" on Tuesday.

Still, Okubo said concerns remain over the pace of recovery to a level that "seems normal."

Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.14% higher at 24.624.34.

Shares of Chinese bottled water firm Nongfu Spring surged more than 80% from their issue price in their debut in Hong Kong. The stock later pared some of those gains, but still gained more than 50% by the market close.

Mainland Chinese stocks edged higher on the day, as the Shanghai composite added 0.72% to about 3,316.42 while the Shenzhen component was fractionally higher at 13,293.33.

South Korea's Kospi rose 0.74% to close at 2,401.91. Shares in Australia also saw gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 1.06% to end its trading day at 6,007.80.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gained 0.32%.

Geopolitical tensions

Investors also continued to monitor geopolitical developments after China accused the U.S. of "bullying" as it launched a global data security initiative on Tuesday.

That development came as the U.S. continues to pressure China's largest tech firms and convince countries around the world to block them. U.S. President Donald Trump also recently entertained the idea of "decoupling" from China, or refusing to do business with the country.

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

Oil prices drop

Oil prices were lower in afternoon trading in Asia. International benchmark Brent crude futures were down 1.43% to $41.41 per barrel. U.S. crude futures fell 3.52% to $38.37 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.092 after an earlier low of 93.002.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7288 after seeing a momentary fall below $0.726 late last week.