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Asia-Pacific stocks mixed; Japan revises second-quarter GDP upward

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday morning trade, as data showed Japan’s economy grew faster than previous estimates.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.72%. Investors monitored shares of China Evergrande Group, which slipped 0.56% in Wednesday morning trade — briefly dropping below its IPO price.

The embattled property developer’s stock has dropped more than 8% so far this week, extending declines since last week after it warned that it could default.

Moody’s Investors Service on Tuesday downgrading its rating, citing “heightened liquidity and default risks.” Ratings agency Fitch also followed with a downgrade on Evergrande on Wednesday morning.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.19% and the Shenzhen component advancing 0.285%.

Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.25% while the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.27%.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.48% while the Topix index gained 0.51%.

Japan’s economy saw 1.9% annualized growth, higher than the initial estimate for a 1.3% rise, revised government data showed Wednesday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.12% higher.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 269.09 points to 35,100 while the S&P 500 shed 0.34% to 4,520.03. The Nasdaq Composite advanced fractionally to 15,374.33.

The mixed moves stateside came as concerns over the potential economic hit of the delta variant weighed on investor sentiment, with Goldman Sachs downgrading its U.S. economic growth outlook over the weekend.

Bitcoin’s price fell following a recent surge above $52,000. It was last trading at $47,046.28 as of 9:53 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to data from Coin Metrics. The volatile moves in the cryptocurrency’s price came as El Salvador on Tuesday officially adopted bitcoin as legal tender, becoming the first country to do so.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.484 following a recent climb from below 92.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.28 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.8 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7401 after yesterday’s decline from levels above $0.744.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures rising 0.21% to $71.84 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.45% to $68.66 per barrel.

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