(RTTNews) – Asian stocks ended mixed on Monday, with a stronger-than-expected US inflation reading and mixed data from China and Japan keeping underlying sentiment cautious.
Chinese stocks rose and the yuan fell from a three-year high against the dollar after Chinese authorities warned against speculative bets on the currency.
The benchmark Shanghai Composite index edged up 14.69 points, or 0.41%, to 3,615.48, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index ended slightly higher at 29,151.80.
The manufacturing sector in China continued to expand in May, albeit at a slower pace, the latest National Bureau of Statistics survey showed with a manufacturing PMI score of 51.0. It was far from expectations for 51.1.
The non-manufacturing PMI entered with a score of 55.2, beating the forecast of 54.9, which would have been unchanged from the previous month’s reading.
Japanese stocks fell sharply as the government stepped up its response to tackle the fourth wave of coronavirus infections with the state of emergency extended for three weeks until June 20 for more than 40% of the Japanese population.
Investors also digested industrial production and declining retail sales.
Industrial production in Japan rose 2.5% month-on-month in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. This missed expectations of a 4.1% increase after the revised downward 1.7% gain in March (originally 2.2%).
The total value of retail sales was down 4.5% sequentially seasonally adjusted in April – falling short of expectations of a 2.0% gain after the 1.2% increase in March.
The Nikkei average ended down 289.33 points, or 0.99 percent, at 28,860.08, after jumping more than 2 percent on Friday to finish at the 29,000 level for the first time since 10 may. The larger Topix index closed 1.26 percent lower at 1,922.98.
The heavyweights of the Fast Retailing index and SoftBank Group lost 0.7% and 1.6% respectively. Chipmaker Renesas Electronics lost 5.5% after announcing a new share issue.
Australian markets ditched early gains to finish slightly lower as inflation fears persisted and Victoria entered a strict seven-day lockdown. Investors were also awaiting the RBA’s monthly policy announcement on Tuesday and expected GDP data Wednesday for directional indices.
The benchmark S & P / ASX 200 fell 17.90 points, or 0.25%, to 7,161.60 after climbing more than 1% to a record high in the previous session. The larger All Ordinaries Index finished down 17.30 points, or 0.23 percent, at 7,406.70.
High commodity prices helped boost miners, with Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group advancing 0.6% and 1.4% respectively.
Evolution gold mines and Northern Star Resources rebounded more than 2% as bullion prices remained stable above the $ 1,900 level in the international market on inflation fears.
Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Oil Search and Origin Energy fell 1 to 3% despite the rise in oil prices during the first Asian transactions.
Software company Nuix fell 17.8% after lowering its revenue forecast for the full year. Link Administration Holdings fell 6.8% after rejecting KKR & Co’s takeover bid for PEXA.
In economic news, credit to the private sector in Australia rose 0.2% sequentially in April, according to central bank data – slowing from the 1.0% gain in March. On an annual basis, credit grew 1.3%, compared to 0.4% the previous month.
Seoul shares rose for the second day in a row as fears eased. The benchmark Kospi index edged up 15.19 points, or 0.48%, to close at 3,203.92.
Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics jumped 2.2%, chipmaker SK Hynix climbed 1.6% and internet portal operator Naver added 1.3%.
In economic news, industrial production in South Korea slipped 1.6 percent seasonally adjusted sequentially in April, Statistics Korea said. This missed expectations of a 1.5 percent increase.
Another report showed that the value of retail sales in South Korea rose 2.3%, seasonally adjusted, sequentially in April. This met expectations and was unchanged from the March reading.
New Zealand stocks rose sharply in a widespread rally as bond yields and swap rates fell in the domestic market. The benchmark NZX 50 index climbed 138.47 points, or 1.14%, to 12,320.72.
Shares of Pacific Edge rose 2.6% after the cancer diagnostics company posted a 101% increase in revenue for the 12 months ending March 31.
U.S. stocks posted modest gains on Friday as President Joe Biden’s budget revealed a plan to address long-standing inequality in the U.S. economy and a Federal Reserve-preferred inflation reading showed an acceleration in the economy. rate of price growth, but not as much as traders. had feared.
The Dow Jones edged up 0.2%, while the S&P 500 and the high tech Nasdaq Composite both rose around 0.1%.
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