Nikkei 225 slides as Japan awaits GDP data

<p>Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark has retreated a day ahead of crucial GDP data is released.</p>

The Nikkei 225 retreated as the markets closed in Tokyo today (February 13th), as Japan awaits crucial gross domestic product (GDP) data that will determine the state of the world's number three economy.

It is anticipated that the nation emerged from its third recession in five years over the course of the final quarter of 2012, as cold weather boosted consumption – helping to bolster prime minister Shinzo Abe's campaign to revive expansion.

GDP data due out tomorrow is expected show an annualised growth of 0.4 per cent in the October-December period, according to a median forecast by 32 economists compiled by Bloomberg.

Mr Abe's challenge is to induce a sustained recovery in the economy as he works hard to end deflation through more aggressive monetary easing with the Bank of Japan. However with incumbent governor Masaaki Shirakawa due to stand down in March, the prime minister may need to up the pressure for more stimulus this year.

At close of play in Japan this morning, the Nikkei 225 slipped by more than one per cent to an index value of 11251.4 points.

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