Asian Markets Mixed; KOSPI Edges Down on Weak GDP Data

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© Reuters. © Reuters. – Asian markets were mixed in morning trade on Thursday, with South Korean stocks underperforming following the release of weak GDP data.

The dropped 0.3% by 10:32 PM ET (02:32 GMT) after data showed its economy grew less than expected in the third quarter.

The country’s grew 0.4% during the July-September period from the last quarter, slightly slower than a 0.5% gain forecast.

Japan’s gained 0.6%.The Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped to 48.5 in October on a seasonally adjusted basis from a final 48.9 in the previous month.

Softbank Group Corp. (T:) lost more than 3% in morning trade and trade near its lowest level since January after announcing a $9.5 billion bailout for WeWork.

The Japanese conglomerate might have to book as much as a 500 billion yen ($4.6 billion) valuation loss due to the transaction, Mizuho Securities analyst Yusuke Hori wrote in a report cited by Bloomberg.

China’s slipped 0.2%, while the inched up 0.1%.

Hong Kong’s rose 0.3%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that economic growth across Asia will slow more than previously expected.

Growth in Asia could moderate to 5% in 2019, and 5.1% in 2020, the iMF said. That is 0.4% and 0.3% lower than its April projections.

Hong Kong is the worst-hit Asian economy, as IMF now believes the city could grow merely 0.3% this year and 1.5% in the next. That is 2.4% and 1.5% lower, respectively, than the initial projections.

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