Asian shares sagged Tuesday as oil prices gave up overnight gains. A weaker dollar weighed on Japanese stocks following the release of revised data showing Japan’s economy contracted in October-December.
Revised data showed Japan’s GDP contracted at a 1.1 percent annualized pace in the last quarter, compared to a 1.4 percent expansion in the July-September quarter. It was a modest improvement over the previous estimate of a 1.4 percent contraction in October-December.
THE QUOTE: “To be sure, Japan’s economy fared better in Q4 than preliminary data suggested,” said Vishnu Varathan, Singapore Treasury Division at Mizuho Bank. “All said, reviving growth is still the main policy challenge for the Abe administration and the BOJ,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan, which has implemented negative interest rates to encourage growth.
COMMODITIES: Investors appeared skeptical over Monday’s rally in oil, iron ore and other commodities, analysts said. The surge was underscored by a short-lived 5.5 percent jump in U.S. crude prices Monday. Read more