Asian Market Rise; Japan’s Export Less Than Expected

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By Alex Ho – Asian markets rose on Wednesday morning, with Japanese stocks outperforming following the release of the country’s trade data.

The gained 1.1% after data showed the country’s fell 2.6% year-on-year in January, smaller than a 6.9% decrease expected by economists. It followed a 6.3% fall in December.

In a statement, Ministry officials noted they were not yet sure how the coronavirus had affected shipments to China.

Japanese stocks underperformed its regional peers on Monday after data showed the country’s GDP growth shrank the fastest in six years.

China’s rose 0.3%, while the gained 0.4%. State media reported today that more than 80% of its state-owned enterprises subsidiaries have resumed work.

In the latest news on the coronavirus outbreak, the Hubei province reported 132 deaths for Feb. 18. So far, China has 74,186 confirmed cases of the virus, according to government data.

“It’s important to contextualize the impact of the virus — we’re not expecting a permanent cut in global growth,” Anne Anderson, head of fixed income at UBS Asset Management in Sydney, told Bloomberg in an interview.

“The combination of the fiscal-monetary and the belief that we will transition through this over the coming months mean we’re still on steady footing,” she said.

South Korea’s inched up 0.1%.

Down under, Australia’s climbed 0.3%. Gold stocks surged today, as Evolution Mining Ltd (ASX:) soared almost 5% and Newcrest Mining Ltd (ASX:) bounced more than 3% earlier in the day.

Looking ahead, Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs will meet on Feb. 22 and 23 in Saudi Arabia and are expected to discuss efforts to support growth amid the coronavirus threat.

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