Asian Markets Mixed as Geopolitics Takes Centre Stage.
Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed Monday morning as U.S.-China tensions continue to heat up.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.08% in morning trade, while the Topix index advanced 1.49%. Those moves followed the nearly 3% tumble in Japanese stocks on Friday.
Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher, with the Shanghai composite up about 0.9% and the Shenzhen component rising 1.213%.
A private survey released Monday showed China’s manufacturing activity expanded in July. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index came in at 52.8 for July, above expectations for a reading of 51.3 by economists in a Reuters poll. PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those that fall below that figure indicate contraction.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong shed 0.32%. South Korea’s Kospi recovered from its earlier slip to rise fractionally. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 sat below the flatline.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.18% lower.
Tensions between Washington and Beijing likely continued being watched by investors, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump is set to announce “in the coming days” new actions related to Chinese software companies viewed by his administration as a national security threat.
On Friday, Trump told reporters he will act soon to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the U.S., according to various News sources. Microsoft on Sunday confirmed it has held talks to buy TikTok in the U.S. from Chinese tech firm ByteDance.
Meanwhile, HSBC is also set to report its interim results on Monday.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.588 after bouncing from levels below 93 late last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 106 per dollar after weakening sharply from levels below 105 late in the previous trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.713 after slipping from levels above $0.72 last week.
Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.64% to $43.24 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.74% to $39.97 per barrel.