Asian stocks mixed on yuan – Japan data

<p>Japan’s economy shrank at an annualised pace of 1.6 per cent in Q2.</p>

Asian stocks started the week on a mixed note today (August 18th) as investors welcome the stabilisation of the yuan but weighed the possibility of Beijing future depreciations.

Before the opening bell, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) fixed the yuan's official midpoint at 6.3969 against the dollar, weaker than the yuan's close of 6.3918 in the previous trading session, but stronger than Friday's 6.3975.

The yuan fell about three per cent last week in a move aimed at boosting Chinese exports.

Investors also reacted to data showing Japan's economy contracted at a slower pace than expected in the second quarter. Japan's economy shrank at an annualised pace of 1.6 per cent between April and June, beating a Reuters' estimate of 1.9 per cent contraction.

Japanese stocks rose after the poor quarterly economic data raised hopes of further economic stimulus, with the Nikkei 225 index gaining 0.5 per cent to 20620.26.

South Korea's Kospi dipped 0.7 per cent to 1968.52 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.7 per cent to 23814.65. The Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China soared 0.7 per cent to 3994.37 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.2 per cent to 5367.66. 

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