Asia Stocks Uncertain Amid Recession Fears

Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Thursday after minutes from the March Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed that Fed officials see the U.S. economy entering a recession in the wake of the banking crisis.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 progressed 74.27 points, or 0.3%, to 28,156.97,

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index soared 34.62 points, or 0.2%, to 20,344.48.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 faded 28.31 points, or 0.7%, to 4,068.98.

Exports from China beat expectations and marked a surprise jump in March posting 14.8% growth after a 6.8% decline in February.

This snaps a five-month streak of declines, while imports also fell smaller than expected at 1.4%.

In U.S. dollar terms, China saw a trade surplus of $88.19 billion, much larger than expectations to see a surplus of $39.2 billion.

The Chinese yuan strengthened to 6.8722 against the U.S. dollar.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times inched up 8.42 points, or 0.3%, to 3,294.542.

In Korea, the Kospi gained 11.02 points, or 0.4%, to 2,561.66.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index dropped 128.21 points, or 0.8%, to 15,804.76.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 advanced 13.36 points, or 0.1%, to 11,930.86.

In Australia, the ASX 200 backpedaled 19.76 points, or 0.3%, to 7,324.12.