Asia Pacific stocks trade mixed; China says its May factory activity expanded

Shares jump as Chinese trade data beat expectations | News | Al ...Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed in Monday morning trade as a Chinese data release over the weekend showed the country’s factory activity expanding in May.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.56% as shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group jumped 2.07%. The Topix index also traded 0.3% higher.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.77%. Reuters reported Monday that the country’s exports in May fell 23.7% year-on-year. That was worse than expectations in a Reuters poll of a median drop of 22.1% year-on-year.

Meanwhile, shares in Australia declined, with the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.76%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.17% higher.

Investor focus on Monday will likely be on Chinese economic data for a better gauge of the state of the country’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Data released over the weekend by China’s National Bureau of Statistics showed factory activity in the country expanding in May, with the official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) coming in at 50.6. That was a decline from the 50.8 print in April and below the 51.0 level expected by analysts, according to Reuters. Still, the figure for May was above the 50 level, which separates expansion from contraction in PMI readings.

Looking ahead to Monday, a private survey of China’s manufacturing activity is expected to be released at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN, when the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI is set to be out.

.N225 Nikkei 225 Index NIKKEI 22025.16 147.27 0.67
.HSI Hang Seng Index HSI 22961.47 0.00 0.00
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 ASX 200 5742.60 -13.10 -0.23
.SSEC Shanghai SHANGHAI 2851.95 -0.40 -0.01
.KS11 KOSPI Index KOSPI 2050.24 20.64 1.02
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX CNBC 100 7816.26 6.01 0.08

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.214 after declining from levels above 99.6 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.77 per dollar after seeing turbulent moves last week as it swung from levels above 107.7 to about 107.1. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6673 following its rise from levels below $0.655 in the previous trading week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 0.95% lower at $37.48 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also declined 1.18% to $35.07 per barrel.

What’s on tap for Monday:

  • China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

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