Asia shares shaky, global bond yields down on growth concerns

Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:50pm EDT
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By Hideyuki Sano

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares got off to a tentative start on Friday after a weak performance on Wall Street, and global bond yields dropped on creeping doubts on the strength of the U.S. economic recovery.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 dipped 0.3 percent in early trade while South Korean shares fell 0.5 percent .KS11. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was flat.

Thursday's data showing a milder-than-expected increase in U.S. consumer spending in May fanned suspicions on the strength of the U.S. economy following shockingly weak first quarter U.S. GDP data. (Full Story)

The U.S. economy contracted at a 2.9 percent pace in the first quarter, the worst performance in five years.

"That's clearly a very weak figure. You can't just blame it all on bad weather," said Tohru Yamamoto, chief fixed income strategist at Daiwa Securities.

The weak data is starting to shake investors' conviction that the U.S. economy is heading for a modest but robust recovery this year.

"People are assessing where they think their second- and third-quarter, fourth-quarter, GDP estimates are going to be," said Wilmer Stith, co-manager in Baltimore of the Wilmington Broad Market Bond Fund.

"Even for those that are optimistic, it's like getting that 'F' in college in that first test; it's harder to raise that average up."   Continued...

Employees of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) look at a monitor at the bourse at the TSE in Tokyo March 3, 2014.  REUTERS/Issei Kato/Files