SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Monday morning as official data released over the weekend showed that manufacturing activity in China grew more slowly in January.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 was up about 1% while the Topix index was up 0.9%. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.42%.
In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 fell about 0.5%. Meanwhile, stocks of several Australian miners rose sharply in Monday’s trading: Argent Minerals rose more than 25% while Adriatic Metals rose 14.75%. It did so when spot silver prices rose more than 6.5% to $ 28.66 an ounce.
MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan was down 0.14%.
China’s official purchasing managers’ index for manufacturing was 51.3 in January, according to a statement by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday.
By comparison, the December reading came in at 51.9 and stayed above the 50 level, indicating growth. PMI values below this level signal contraction. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the January figure to be 51.6.
Looking ahead, a private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity is expected to be released in January. The PMI for the Caixin / Markit production is expected to be released on Monday around 9:45 am HK / SIN.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its peers, came in at 90.615 after recently rising below 90.3.
The Japanese yen was trading at 104.70 per dollar after weakening from below 104 levels against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7623 after falling from levels above $ 0.768 last week.
Oil prices were lower on the morning of trading hours in Asia, and the international reference Brent crude oil futures fell 0.11% to $ 54.98 a barrel. US crude oil futures were down 0.29% to $ 52.05 a barrel.
Here’s a look at what’s on tap:
- China: Caixin / Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index at 9.45am HK / SIN