Asian stocks mixed as South Korea lowers growth forecast

<p>Asia’s major benchmarks have closed on mixed footings as South Korea cuts its growth forecasts.</p>

The major east Asian stock benchmarks have closed with mixed results in trading today (December 27th), following news South Korea has lowered its growth forecast for 2012 and 2013.

Projections from the nation's finance ministry have been revised down to 2.1 per cent for this year, from an earlier estimate of 3.3 per cent, while next year's prediction was cut to three per cent from 4.3 per cent.

This decision has underlined the effect of a slowdown in the emerging market's key export partners on growth.

Indeed, South Korea's overseas trade accounts for almost half of its entire economy, with the global economic downturn hitting order books hard.

Choi Sang-mok of the finance ministry stated: "Growth next year will be better than this year, although there are significant downside risks."

At close of play today, the Hong Kong Hang Seng rose by 0.3 per cent to 22619.7 points, while the Shanghai SSE Composite retreated by 0.6 per cent to 2205.9 points and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo advanced to 10322.9 points.

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