Asian and Pacific Rim equity and financial markets kicked off 2021 mostly higher. Traders were watching regional economic data which came in better than expected.
In Japan the Asian benchmark bourse, the Nikkei 225 saw their shares lag despite better than expected Jibun Bank monthly manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) that snapped 19 months of contractions. The Nikkei was down half a percent and the broader Topix index, in Tokyo, lost 0.61 percent.
In South Korea, the Kospi composite index was up over 2.3 percent. Their financial markets opened an hour later today. Elsewhere in the Asian and Pacific Rim, the Australian S&P ASX 200 added 1.4 percent.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tacked on gains as well. On the mainland, in China, shares were mostly in the green on Monday. The Shanghai composite was up over 0.9 percent and the Shenzhen component added 2.303 percent.
Asian Traders React to Chinese Manufacturing Data
This morning the monthly private Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) was released. In December, Chinese manufacturing activity expanded.
The December manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 53 which was below November’s reading of 54.9 but well within expansion territory. Last Thursday, official government manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data showed the country’s factory activity expanding in December as well but at a slower pace.
China continues to show a solid recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). However a new rise in global Covid-19 infections could impact demand for goods from China as new restrictions keep consumers at home. Also, rising trade tensions with the United States could also start to have a negative impact.
Other countries like the United States, Spain and euro area will release final monthly Purchasing Managers’ Index later today. Federal Reserve member Charles Evans is also giving remarks later in the day.