Chinese factory activity in October, oil prices

SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday, as investors reacted to economic data which showed a mixed picture of Chinese manufacturing activity in October.

Japanese stocks led the gains regionally, with the Nikkei 225 surging 2.61% to close at 29,647.08, with shares of Fast Retailing soaring 4.22%. The Topix index climbed 2.18% on the day to 2,044.72. The gains came after the ruling Liberal Democratic Party retained its one-party majority in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.01% in afternoon trading as mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite declining slightly and the Shenzhen component climbing 0.301 %.

Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong plunged after the country’s market regulators on Friday released a list of proposed responsibilities for the country’s internet platforms covering areas such as governance and data security.

In Monday afternoon trading, shares of Tencent in Hong Kong fell 2.2% while Alibaba slipped 1.47% and Meituan fell 0.59%. Kuaishou Technology also fell 3.62% while JD.com fell 1.29%. The Hang Seng Tech index fell 1.36%.

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Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.28% while Australia’s S & P / ASX 200 closed 0.64% higher at 7,370.80.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific equities excluding Japan slipped 0.35%.

Activity of the mixed Chinese factory

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index for October stood at 49.2 over the weekend, below the 50 level between expansion and contraction. It was the second consecutive month of contraction in manufacturing activity in the country, following the official reading of the manufacturing PMI of 49.6 in September.

However, a A private survey released on Monday showed that growth in Chinese manufacturing activity in October was spreading – with the Caixin / Markit manufacturing PMI standing at 50.6.

PMI readings below 50 represent contraction while those above this level signify expansion. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-to-month expansion or contraction.

Currencies and oil

The The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.196 after a recent jump below 93.6.

The Japanese yen was trading at 114.29 per dollar, lower than the levels below 113.4 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7505, after falling from above $ 0.753 late last week.

Oil prices fell in the afternoon of trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.32% to $ 83.45 a barrel. US crude futures fell 0.56% to $ 83.10 per barrel.


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Steve R. Hansen

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