Most Asian indexes were in positive territory in Monday trade as Chinese inflation data for June met market expectations.

The Nikkei 225 advanced 0.59 percent and South Korea’s benchmark Kospi index edged up 0.01 percent.

The S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.67 percent, led by gains in the financials and information technology sub-indexes.

Markets in greater China were mixed. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.48 percent, but markets on the mainland traded lower. The Shanghai Composite was off by 0.17 percent and the Shenzhen Composite slid 0.231 percent.

Markets in Thailand were closed for a public holiday.

116.88 0.59%
HSI HSI 25468.45
127.60 0.50%
ASX 200 S&P/ASX 200 5741.90
38.33 0.67%
SHANGHAI Shanghai 3212.48
-5.48 -0.17%
KOSPI KOSPI Index 2380.47
0.60 0.03%
CNBC 100 CNBC 100 ASIA IDX 7633.41
24.79 0.33%

June inflation data out of China was in line with expectations. China CPI gained 1.5 percent on year and PPI rose 5.5 percent. Both figures were in line with forecasts from a Reuters poll.

The Australian dollar, which is sensitive to Chinese economic data, was largely unaffected by the headlines. The Aussie dollar traded at $0.7604 at 9:50 a.m. HK/SIN, close to levels around $0.7605 seen at the end of the Friday session.

Japan core machinery orders in May dropped 3.6 percent on month, falling below the 1.7 percent rise forecast in a Reuters survey.

The yen weakened to trade at 114.13 yen to the dollar at 9:46 a.m. HK/SIN. The currency had initially traded at 113.88 yen to the dollar immediately after the news compared to levels around 113.96 seen before.

The weakening in the yen also follows the Bank of Japan stepping up plans for its bond-buying program last Friday.

Investors were also expected to keep an eye on the bond markets following last week’s climb in bond yields. Yields for the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury came in around 2.3927 percent compared to levels around 2.330 percent seen early last week.

“Looking ahead, traders will continue to watch fixed income like a hawk for further knock-on effects into FX and equities,” said IG chief market strategist Chris Weston in a Monday morning note, citing upcoming speeches from Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard and Fed Chair Janet Yellen due later this week.

In corporate news, shares of Hong Kong-listed Orient Overseas International jumped 20.08 percent on news of a $6.3 billion offer from shipping company Cosco Shipping Holdings.

Meanwhile, oil prices trended higher. Brent crude futures were up 0.81 percent at $47.09 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures traded higher by 0.81 percent at $44.59.

In currencies, the dollar was mostly flat against a basket of currencies at 9:48 a.m. HK/SIN, with the dollar index last trading at 96.011.

Stocks on Wall Street closed higher on Friday following better-than-expected nonfarm payrolls figures for the month of June. A total of 222,000 new jobs were recorded last month compared to the 179,000 forecast by a Reuters poll. Wage growth was largely unchanged compared to the month before.

By Cheang Ming


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