By Associated Press and Marketwatch
Concerns over the global economy hurt enthusiasm for stocks in Asia, with China indexes suffering sharp drops.
The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -2.49% closed down 2.4%, and has lost 4.5% this week as of Thursday, putting it on track for the worst weekly decline of 2019. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI -4.22% fell 0.9%. Investors have been grappling with concerns that Chinese officials will slow down on stimulus efforts against a backdrop of upbeat economic data.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK +0.49% managed a gain of 0.4%. At a meeting Thursday, the Bank of Japan said it would maintain the current state of ultralow yields until spring 2020.
The news was downbeat out of South Korea, where the Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +0.24% fell about 0.4% First-quarter gross domestic product fell 0.3% against expectations for a 0.3% gain, marking the worst quarter since the global financial crisis.
Indexes in Taiwan , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI -0.0051% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.15% were mixed. Australia’s trading was closed for Anzac Day, a national holiday.
Among individual stocks, Nintendo /zigman2/quotes/208063194/delayed JP:7974 +0.52% rose in Tokyo trading, as did Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 +0.68% . Meanwhile, shares of food manufacturer Kikkoman /zigman2/quotes/200008494/delayed JP:2801 -0.56% fell, along with Nomura Holdings /zigman2/quotes/206251373/delayed JP:8604 +1.04% . In Hong Kong, the stock of real-estate companies continued to rise, with Sun Hung Kai Properties /zigman2/quotes/209086152/delayed HK:16 -1.31% and Country Garden /zigman2/quotes/201681083/delayed HK:2007 -2.01% advancing, while Geely Automobile /zigman2/quotes/200716015/delayed HK:175 -2.78% and oil producer Cnooc /zigman2/quotes/203421416/delayed HK:883 -1.40% pulled back. Chip maker SK Hynix /zigman2/quotes/206420319/delayed KR:000660 -0.85% gained in South Korea as it posted a 69% drop in first-quarter profit , but forecast chip demand to improve later this year.
The dollar /zigman2/quotes/210561789/realtime/sampled USDJPY -0.0337% fell to 111.58 Japanese yen from 111.85 yen.
Investors are also watching for the U.S. economic growth data being released later in the week, and its potential impact on Asia trade on Monday.