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Asian Markets Mixed, Investors React to Chinese Economic Data

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday trade as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data while also monitoring the Covid situation in places such as Taiwan, which has seen a recent spike in domestic infections.

The Taiex in Taiwan fell 2.99% to close at 15,353.89 on Monday, leading to losses among the region’s major markets.

asia Markets
Taiex performance chart

Elsewhere, mainland Chinese stocks were higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.78% to 3,517.62 while the Shenzhen component surged 1.744% to 14,456.54. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose about 0.7%, as of its final hour of trading.

The moves came following the release of a slew of Chinese economic data. China’s industrial output rose 9.8% year-on-year in April, according to data released Monday by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

Official data also showed retail sales in China jumping 17.7% year-on-year in April. That, however, fell short of expectations for a 24.9% increase.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 0.92% to close at 27,824.83 while the Topix index shed 0.24% to finish the trading day at 1,878.86. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.6% lower at 3,134.52.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.13% to close at 7,023.60.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose about 0.1%.

Meanwhile, investors also monitored the price of bitcoin. It was trading at $44,775.90 as of 3:18 am ET Monday, according to data from Coin Metrics. That came after Tesla CEO Elon Musk clarified in a tweet that the electric vehicle maker “has not sold any Bitcoin.”

Earlier, the price of bitcoin fell below $43,000 after Musk implied in a Twitter exchange Sunday that Tesla sold or may sell the rest of its holdings in the cryptocurrency.

Asian Markets Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.272 after a recent decline from above 90.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.18 per dollar, having weakened last week from levels below 109 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7763, following last week’s decline from levels above $0.78.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 0.22% to $68.56 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined about 0.1% to $65.31 per barrel.