Asia markets focus on China economy, Wall Street, currencies, oil

Asia markets focus on China economy, Wall Street, currencies, oil

February 1, 2021 0 By boss

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SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were were mixed in Monday morning trade as official data released over the weekend showed manufacturing activity in China growing at a slower pace in January.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose about 1% in while the Topix index advanced 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.42% higher.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped about 0.5%. Shares of several Australian miners, on the other hand, surged in Monday trade: Argent Minerals soared more than 25% while Adriatic Metals jumped 14.75%. That came as spot silver prices rose more than 6.5% to $28.66 an ounce.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.14% lower.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 51.3 in January, according to a statement by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday.

In comparison, the reading for December was 51.9 and remained above the 50-level, which indicates growth. PMI readings below that level signal contraction. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the figure for January to come in at 51.6.

Looking ahead, a private survey of Chinese manufacturing activity in January is set to be released, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI expected to be out around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.615 after recently rising from levels below 90.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.70 per dollar following its weakening last week from levels below 104 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7623, having slipped from levels above $0.768 last week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.11% to $54.98 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.29% to $52.05 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

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