Asian shares decline slightly due to weak corporate earnings and economic uncertainty
On Thursday, Asian stocks mostly declined due to weak earnings reports and concerns about economic growth. The Nikkei 225 index in Japan fell by 0.3%, as Nomura Holdings and Advantest Corp saw significant losses.
Nomura’s quarterly profit dropped 76% due to concerns about a banking crisis and slower growth, while Advantest’s profit is expected to decline sharply due to weaker demand for chips. Samsung Electronics also reported a 96% drop in first-quarter profit due to weak chip demand but projected a recovery in the second half of the year. The KOSPI index in South Korea traded flat.
The Shanghai Shenzhen CSI 300 and Shanghai Composite indexes recovered slightly after declining for the past six sessions, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flat. Meanwhile, the Nifty 50 and BSE Sensex 30 indexes in India traded sideways, while Australia’s ASX 200 fell by 0.4%.
The focus is now on the key U.S. GDP data due later in the day, which is expected to provide more cues on a potential recession in the world’s largest economy. Markets are also waiting for a reading on the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge ahead of a hotly anticipated interest rate hike next week. The Bank of Japan meeting is also due on Friday, but the central bank has signaled that it will leave its ultra-loose policy unchanged.