Asia Trader

Asian Markets Drop as China’s Economic Data Shows Industrial Production was at 6.4%

Asia-Pacific stocks slipped on Monday as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data for July.

Retail sales in China rose 8.5% in July as compared with a year ago, according to official data released Monday. That was far lower than the 11.5% rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, industrial production grew 6.4% in July, also falling short of expectations for a 7.8% year-on-year increase for the month, according to the Reuters poll.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed, with the Shanghai composite hovering marginally higher at 3,517.34 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.712% to 14,693.74. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.8% to close at 26,181.46.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index technical performance chart.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.62% to close at 27,523.19, with shares of Fast Retailing and SoftBank Group falling more than 2% each. The Topix index shed 1.61% on the day to close at 1,924.98.

Japan’s GDP rose 0.3% in the second quarter as compared with the previous three months, when it contracted 0.9%, according to official preliminary estimates released Monday. The April-June data print beat market forecasts for a 0.2% increase, according to journalists.

Elsewhere, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index in Malaysia slipped 0.34% as of 4:21 p.m. local time after the country’s palace confirmed that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet submitted their resignation to the king on Monday.

Shares in Australia also dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 0.61% lower to close at 7,582.50.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan declined 0.5%.

South Korea’s markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.

Asian Markets: Currencies & Oil

Oil prices slipped in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 1.63% lower at $69.44 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.93% to $67.12 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.538 following a recent decline from around the 93 level.

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U.S. dollar against Japanese Yen, technical performance chart

The Japanese yen traded at 109.34 per dollar, following a strengthening late last week from above 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7338 as compared with an earlier high of $0.7373.

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