Asian Markets

Asian Pacific Stocks Mixed, Investors React to China’s Trade Data

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday as investors reacted to China’s trade data released over the weekend.

Mainland Chinese stocks recovered from earlier losses to close higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.2% to 3,498.63 while the Shenzhen component climbed 0.32% to 14,508.86.

Asian markets Chart
shanghai composite Performance Chart

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped around 0.4% as of its final hour of trading. South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.31% lower at 2,960.20.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.35% to close at 29,507.05 while the Topix index fell 0.3% to finish the trading day at 2,035.22. Australian stocks closed mildly lower, with the asia S&P/ASX 200 dipping fractionally to 7,452.20.

Elsewhere, Taiwan’s Taiex closed 0.68% higher at 17,415.30 while the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.14%.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 index rose 0.4% on Friday to a record for a seventh day after U.S. employers hired more people in October than expected.

China’s October exports rose 27.1% over a year earlier, though that eased off the previous month’s 28.1% growth, customs data showed Sunday.

Despite that gain, Chinese anti-virus controls might dampen factory and consumer activity, “still bringing about an uncertain recovery picture,” Yeap Jun Rong of IG said in a report.

The U.S. government is due to report inflation this week. Investors are watching price rises amid fears stronger inflationary pressures might prompt the Federal Reserve and other central banks to pull back stimulus that is boosting stock prices.

Also this week, China’s ruling Communist Party holds a plenary session, or full meeting of its leaders, military leaders and provincial party bosses. It is the sixth plenum during the latest five-year political cycle that runs through next year.

The sixth plenum usually focuses on ideology and party affairs instead of the economy. However, investors also hope for possible updates on policy toward technology and other industries after data security and anti-monopoly crackdowns on Chinese tech giants that began late last year wiped more than $1 trillion off their total stock market values.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.88% to $83.47 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1% to $82.08 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.267 after recently declining from levels above 94.5.

The Japanese yen traded at 113.55 per dollar, stronger than levels above 114 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.74 after last week’s drop from above $0.75.

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