Asia-Pacific markets are mixing as the IMF raises forecast for global economic growth

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SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Wednesday morning as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its growth forecast for the global economy this year.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.63% in early trading while the Topix index rose 0.61%. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 0.78%.

Shares in Australia fell, with the S & P / ASX 200 falling 0.4%. The Australian fourth quarter consumer price index is expected to be released on Wednesday around 8:30 a.m. HK / SIN.

MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.14%.

In its latest global economic outlook published on Tuesday, the IMF now expects the global economy to grow by 5.5% this year. This corresponds to an increase of 0.3 percentage points compared to the October forecast.

“Much now depends on the outcome of this race between a mutating virus and vaccines to end the pandemic, and on the ability of politicians to provide effective support until then,” said IMF chief economist Gita Gopinath in a blog post.

Global coronavirus virus infections recently passed the 100 million mark, according to a review by Johns Hopkins University. This is because new and more contagious virus mutations are circulating and infection rates are increasing.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, closed at 90.17 after falling above 90.4 earlier.

The Japanese yen was trading at 103.61 per dollar, weaker than below 103.5 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7755 after rising from $ 0.768 yesterday.

What’s happening?

  • Australia, fourth quarter consumer price index at 8:30 am HK / SIN
  • China: December industrial earnings at 9:30 am HK / SIN

– CNBC’s Silvia Amaro and Sara Salinas contributed to this report.