Japanese stocks boosted by strong economic data

Tokyo stockboard

Japanese markets have started the week in positive territory with strong economic data helping to boost investor sentiment.

The latest government data showing industrial output rose by 3.7% in January, the first rise in three months, helped lift investors’ mood.

However, retail sales disappointed, falling by 0.1% in January, compared to forecasts for a 0.5% rise.

The Nikkei 225 index rose by 0.3% to 16,244.11 points in early trade.

Gaming giant Nintendo’s shares fell sharply, losing more than 5% at one point in early trade.

The drop came after Friday’s announcement that its full year profit would be half of its original forecast.

Due to a stronger yen and disappointing sales of its handheld gaming consoles and software, the company slashed its full-year profit outlook to 17bn yen (£150m), down from the previously expected 35bn yen.

Super Mario

Chinese slump continues

Chinese shares however failed to extend Friday’s gains.

The Shanghai Composite lost 3.3% to 2,672.68, dashing hopes that Friday’s brief recovery could be sustained.

The losses came despite the G20 meeting in Shanghai pledging to work towardsboosting growth.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also lost ground, but fared better than the mainland.

The index fell by 0.9% to 19,178.44 points.

In Sydney, the ASX 200 rose by 0.5% to 4,905.10 points, with mining companies BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both gaining more than 1.5%.

The rise comes ahead of Australia’s fourth quarter economic growth data, due to be released on Wednesday.

In South Korea, the benchmark Kospi index remained flat at 1,919.86 points.

Samsung shares rose by 1% following Friday’s decision by a US appeals court to overturn a verdict against the company in a longstanding  patent dispute with its US.

[Source:- BBC]