Asian Markets Mixed as China Posts GDP Jump for Third-Quarter
Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Monday, as investors reacted to the release of China’s GDP data.
Mainland Chinese stocks were lower on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.71% to around 3,312.67 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.824% to about 13,421.19.
China’s third-quarter GDP grew 4.9% as compared to a year ago, according to data released Monday by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That compared against expectations by Chinese economists of 5.2% GDP growth in the third quarter, according to an average of estimates compiled by Wind Information, a financial information database.
Meanwhile, retail sales in China rose 3.3% in September from a year earlier. OCBC Bank’s Vasu Menon described the Chinese retail sales print as a “big surprise.”
“The headline numbers seem like they’ve missed the mark but when you drill down to the details, especially domestic consumption, I think that offers some room for optimism,” Menon, executive director of investment strategy, wealth management Singapore at the firm, told CNBC’s “Street Signs Asia” on Monday.
“Bear in mind that 4.9% growth is still a decent number — especially given the current environment — and is a pick up from the previous quarter which was 3.2%,” he said.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.64% to close at 24,542.26, with shares of HSBC listed in the city gaining 2.49%.
Shares of Alibaba in Hong Kong rose 1.09%. The Chinese tech giant’s financial technology affiliate Ant Group has received approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission for the Hong Kong leg of its anticipated listing, a source told CNBC.
Meanwhile, Sun Art Retail Group’s stock soared 19.17% after Alibaba announced it agreed to acquire controlling stakes in the firm.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.11% to close at 23,671.13 while the Topix index added 1.25% to end its trading day at 1,637.98.
Japan’s exports fell 4.9% as compared to a year earlier in September, according to trade statistics released by the country’s Ministry of Finance on Monday.
South Korea’s Kospi also advanced 0.22% to close at 2,346.74. Meanwhile, shares in Australia rose on the day, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.85% to 6,229.40.
In Southeast Asia, the SET Composite index in Thailand fell around 2% as of 3:30 p.m. local time, as protests continued in the country.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.48%.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 93.574 after seeing an earlier high of 93.766.
The Japanese yen traded at 105.37 per dollar after seeing levels below 105.3 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7095 following its decline last week from levels above $0.715.
Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.54% to $42.70 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.46% to $40.69 per barrel.