Asian Stocks Up, Investors Sift Through Regional and U.S. Data

This post was originally published on this site – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up Monday morning after the release of a slew of economic data in the region as well as the U.S. Investors are also gauging how long the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue with its current accommodative monetary policy.

China’s Shanghai Composite edged up 0.18% by 10:30 PM ET (2:30 AM GMT) and the Shenzhen Component inched up 0.09%.

The Caixin services purchasing managers index (PMI), released earlier in the day, was at 50.3 in June, lower than the 55.1 figure reported for the previous month. Chinese consumer price index and producer price index data is also due later in the week.

The Cyberspace Administration of China also ordered app stores to remove ride-hailing giant Didi (NYSE:DIDI) from their offerings, merely days after Didi’s listing in New York. Investors will also pay attention to any jitters as the Chinese stock market opened for trading.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index inched up 0.03%.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.59%, with the services PMI for June at a higher-than-expected 48.

The ASX 200 edged up 0.15% in Australia, with the services PMI at a slightly higher-than-forecast 56.8. Australian retail sales, meanwhile, grew a better-than-expected 0.4% month-on-month in May.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is also due to hand down its policy decision on Tuesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI was up 0.46%.

U.S. markets are closed for a holiday, but the S&P 500 hit a record for a seventh day on Friday after the latest U.S. jobs report hinted that the U.S. economy was continuing its recovery from COVID-19, but not quickly enough for the Fed to start asset tapering.

The report said that non-farm payrolls grew increased by a higher-than-expected 850,000 in June, while the unemployment rate was also higher than expected at 5.9%.

Although the data calmed fears that the Fed would act on the hawkish stance that it took as it handed down its latest policy decision in June, central banks globally are already starting to withdraw the unprecedented stimulus unleashed to counter the economic impact of COVID-19.

RBA is expected to pare back some stimulus in its decision, even as some cities remain under lockdown due to the country’s latest COVID-19 outbreak.

“Markets are priced for the continuation of a scenario that could not be better constructed… investors are living with risks that are seen to be manageable while growth and the technical set-up of our financial system is rewarding capital allocated to risk,” AXA Investment Managers chief investment officer for core investments Chris Iggo said in a note.

Investors now await the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s latest meeting, due later in the week. Meanwhile, finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20, or G20, will meet in Venice on Friday.