Asian stocks dip on weak data

<p>Stocks were mostly lower after the release of downbeat data for China and Japan.</p>

Asian shares were mostly lower today (December 8th) after the release of off worse-than-expected data for China and Japan.

China's trade performance in November was lower than expected while Japan's economy in the third quarter shrank more than initially reported, with growth contracting an annualised 1.9 per cent.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.2 per cent, the Nikkei 225 edged up 0.1 per cent, while South Korea's Kospi lost 0.4 per cent.

However, the Shanghai Composite Index gained 2.9 per cent, topping 3,000 for the first time since 2011, on hopes that China will implement new stimulus measures.

"China's imports contracted by 6.7 per cent year-on-year – their weakest performance since the Lehman crisis," DariuszKowalczyk, economist at Credit Agricole in Hong Kong, told Reuters.

"This is partly a reflection of lower commodity prices and base effects, but these two factors cannot fully explain the weak import number and we have to assume that poor domestic demand has played a part. This means that pressure will rise on the government to do more to stimulate growth," he added.

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