Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Monday, as data showed China’s manufacturing activity grew in October.
Mainland Chinese stocks saw gains on the day, with the Shanghai composite marginally higher at around 3,225.12 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.393% to about 13,420.96. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced around 1.4%, as of its final hour of trading.
Shares in Japan saw robust gains: The Nikkei 225 rose 1.39% to close at 23,295.48 while the Topix index jumped 1.81% to finish its trading day at 1,607.95. South Korea’s Kospi closed 1.46% higher at 2,300.16.
Meanwhile, shares in Australia advanced, with the S&P/ASX 200 closing 0.4% higher at 5,951.30.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.58%.
Oil prices dropped in the the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 3.64% to $36.56 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 4.16% to $34.30 per barrel.
Investor focus on Monday was likely on China’s economy. A private survey showed Monday that China’s manufacturing sector expanding for the sixth straight month in October. The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for Chinese manufacturing came in at 53.6 for October, higher than the 53.0 reading forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.
On the coronavirus front, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday that England will adopt a second national lockdown starting Thursday following a surge in virus cases.
The U.S. has also been dealing with a recent spike in infections, with the nation reporting 99,321 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, beating its previous record set only a day prior, according to Johns Hopkins University. That comes just ahead of this week’s elections stateside.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.114 after rising from levels below 93 late in October.
The Japanese yen traded at 104.75 per dollar after weakening from levels below 104.4 against the greenback last week. Meanwhile, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7003 after weakening sharply last week from levels above $0.708.