Asian stocks were a mixed bag on Thursday as gains in the technology sector, following positive signals from AI darling Nvidia, were offset by persistent fears of high U.S. interest rates, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 benchmark outperformed.
Britain chalked up its highest ever monthly budget surplus in January due to record seasonal tax inflows, official figures showed on Wednesday, although the broader picture remains tough as finance minister Jeremy Hunt prepares his annual budget.
Japan's government downgraded its view on the economy in February for the first time in three months on sluggish consumer spending, suggesting a bumpy path out of a recession in the face of slow wage recovery and lackluster industrial output.
Japan welcomed more than 2 million visitors for an eighth consecutive month in January, official data showed on Wednesday, setting the stage for a potential record year for tourism.
Japanese manufacturing activity shrank more than expected in February, preliminary data showed on Thursday, while service sector activity grew at a slower pace as the broader economy remained under pressure from sticky inflation.
Japan's factory activity extended declines and service sector growth eased in February, surveys showed on Thursday, suggesting business conditions were worsening as the economy struggles to emerge from recession.