Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday, as investors reacted to the release of China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May.
Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.41% to 3,615.48 while the Shenzhen component advanced 0.966% to 14,996.38. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell about 0.2%, as of its final hour of trading.
China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 51.0. That compared against analyst expectations for a reading of 51.1 in a Reuters poll. The May figure was also a slight decrease from the previous month’s reading of 51.1.
PMI readings above 50 represent expansion while those below that level signify contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.99% to close at 28,860.08 while the Topix index shed 1.26% to finish the trading day at 1,922.98.
Japan’s retail sales rose 12% in April as compared with a year earlier, according to government data released Monday .That was against a median market forecast for a 15.3% rise, according to Reuters.
South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.48% higher at 3,203.92. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.25% on the day to 7,161.60.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.76%.
Over in Southeast Asia, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index slipped about 0.8%, as of 3:05 p.m. local time. Those losses came as the country is set for a nationwide ‘total’ lockdown from June 1-14 following a spike in Covid infections nationally.
The Malaysian ringgit traded at 4.135 per dollar, as compared to an earlier low of 4.1425 against the greenback.
Markets in the U.S. are closed on Monday for a holiday.
Asian Markets Currencies & Oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.07 after a recent spike to levels above 90.3.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.72 per dollar, after weakening late last week to levels above 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.773, lower than levels above $0.776 seen last week.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.79% to $69.26 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.86% to $66.89 per barrel.