HONG KONG (APP) – Asian stocks mostly fell Friday following losses in New York while concerns about the global outlook were reinforced after data showed the US economy grew at its slowest pace for two years in the first quarter.
Investors were still coming to terms with the Bank of Japan’s decision not to boost its stimulus, with the yen at 18-month highs against the dollar, while analysts warned central banks’ weapons were becoming less effective.
Hong Kong was 1.3 percent lower in the afternoon while Seoul closed 0.3 percent down. Shanghai ended off 0.3 percent, although Sydney rose 0.5 percent.
Taipei slipped 1.1 percent after figures showed the island’s economy shrank in the first three months, prolonging a recession that started last year, as its key export sector dived.
The US Commerce Department said Thursday that the world’s number one economy grew 0.5 percent in January-March, almost half the pace expected, and the worst reading since 2014 as consumer spending sputtered.
The news seemed to justify the Federal Reserve’s decision not to raise interest rates and to lower its expectations for any more hikes this year.