Published On: Wed, May 13th, 2015

Japanese Shares Down Despite Trade Data

Japanese shares headed lower despite data showing the country’s current account surplus hit a seven-year high in March.Investors ignored news that the current account, which recorded a surplus for the ninth consecutive month, rose to 2.795tn yen ($23.3bn; £14.9bn), compared with forecasts of 2.06tn yen.

Japanese shares down

The Nikkei 225 traded flat at 19,634.64 after falls in the US and European markets on Greece’s debt talks.

The yen rose on the uncertainty.

The dollar was at 119.78 yen in early trade, down from 119.90 yen in New York trade.

Chinese markets were mixed, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index up 0.3% to 27,479 points, while the Shanghai Composite was down 0.2% to 4,393 points.

Budget reaction

Australian shares opened higher a day after the conservative government delivered a budget that pledged to deliver a surplus.

Among other measures to boost the economy, the government promised to help small businesses.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.4% to 5,698.3 in Sydney.

South Korea’s Kospi index was up 0.8% to 2,113.03 after data showed that its unemployment rate declined in April, with more jobs created in the manufacturing and service sectors.

The jobless rate stood at 3.9%, down from 4% in March and 4.6% in February, according to Statistics Korea.