The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 1.4% as escalating violence in Libya swayed the optimists and Japan’s economy took a small hit, report Jonathan Burgos and Norie Kuboyama for Bloomberg.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 1.5% after the country reported a 1.3% drop in GDP for the fourth quarter of last year. Further risk to the Japanese economy include higher crude oil prices that could dampen capital spending and private consumption.
The People’s Bank of China increased yields on their three-month bills for the second consecutive week, which has increased speculation that policy makers could increase benchmark rates to deter inflation, writes Shani Raja for Bloomberg.
China unexpectedly reported a $7.3 billion trade deficit, the largest in seven years, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, Chinese yuan forwards dropped after trade deficit news as currency traders bet on the appreciation of China’s currency against the dollar. The Shanghai Composite Index diminished a little over 1% on concerns of rising oil prices and increased inflationary pressure.(BLB/HQM)