Asia Pacific stocks closed markets higher on Thursday after the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy statement on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index jumped by more than 0.70% after IMF scaled-down the country’s economic growth forecast. Australia’s ASX 200 index was up as the country eased lockdown restrictions in some parts of the country. Hang Seng index jumped 3.18% after taking a steep dive at the start of the week.
Japan’s Economic Concerns
The Nikkei 225 index took a nosedive on Wednesday after the IMF forecast a slowdown in Japan’s economic growth. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday forecast that Japan’s economic growth for 2021 would advance 2.8%.
However, this would be 0.5% lower than the estimated economic growth forecast in April. with the surging coronavirus infections, Japan has been struggling to contain its spread. The global economic growth forecast was maintained at 6.0%, which would be its fastest in almost half a century.
The dimmed prospects of Japan’s economy were offset by positive outlooks from the United States economy. According to the World Economic Outlook report, there is a continued discrepancy of economic recoveries. This has been brought about by the differences in vaccination rollouts and policy support.
Japan’s vaccination rollout lagged among the developed countries. However, the country is expected to post a stronger rebound in the second half of 2022. The IMF raised its growth estimate for 2022 by 0.5% to 3.0%.
According to the Federal Reserve’s statement on Wednesday, inflation rose reflecting transitory factors. The Fed maintained its interest rates and stated that it would only change it once inflation hit its 2% target in the long term.
Nikkei 225 Movers
Advantest Corporation was the best performer in the Nikkei 225 index trade on Thursday. The manufacturing company gained more than 7.44% in its stock earnings. Its earnings for the first quarter were ¥98.87 up from ¥52.89 a year ago.
Nissan Motor posted a profit of ¥76 billion for its second quarter topping analysts’ expectations. Despite the chip shortage, the automobile manufacturer saw a rise in good sales boosted by demand for cars. The company’s stock price advanced by 6.23%.
Dainippon Screen is a semiconductor and electronics company based in Japan. The company’s stock price rose 5.81% in Thursday’s trading session.
CyberAgent Inc led the laggards in the index. The Japanese digital advertising company slipped 7.64% as investors took profits following the mobile videogame firm’s solid quarterly results.