Markets in Asia finished mostly higher on Monday, with traders busy digesting fresh data out of both China and Japan to kick off the week.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was up 0.11% at 20,055.80, as the yen lost ground against the greenback, last weakening 0.5% to JPY 112.95.

The Bank of Japan released its quarterly tankan survey, which suggested an improvement in business confidence among large manufacturers at least.

On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite added 0.07% to finish at 3,194.79, as the smaller, technology-heavy Shenzhen Composite rose 0.4% to 1,905.20.

In China, unofficial Caixin manufacturing PMI data was released during the session, coming in at an expansionary 50.4 – ahead of the contractionary 49.5 reading predicted by a Reuters poll.

It put manufacturing activity at a reported three-month high.

Beijing's official manufacturing activity reading, which was released on Friday, came in at 51.7, which was also higher than the forecast, which was for 51.0.

Traders also had one eye on proposals for a 'bond connect' between Hong Kong and the mainland, which would allow investors in the special administrative region to trade in the fixed income market in China, similar to existing 'stock connect programmes.

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority confirmed trial outbound transactions began in Hong Kong on Monday, with participant HSBC celebrating its first 'bond connect' trade during the morning.

South Korea's Kospi was 0.11% firmer at 2,394.48, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong was up 0.08% at 25,784.17.

It was set to be another week of central bank signals, with the Reserve Bank of Australia set to issue its latest decision on interest rates, along with speeches from a number of officials from the European Central Bank and the president of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

Oil prices were slightly higher during Asian trading, although they began to fall as Europe took the trading baton, with Brent crude last down 0.23% at $48.66, and West Texas Intermediate losing 0.04% to $46.02.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.65% to settle at 5,684.49, as newspaper publisher Fairfax Media plummeted 10.91%.

It emerged private equity bidders TPG Capital and Hellman & Friedman were no longer interested in purchasing the publicly-traded organisation, which dominates the daily titles in large parts of both Australia and New Zealand.

Across the Tasman Sea, the S&P/NZX 50 was also lower, losing 0.3% to 7,588.43, led lower by medical technology company Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, which lost 2%.

Both of the down under dollars were weaker against the greenback, with the Aussie last retreating 0.41% to AUD 1.3060 and the Kiwi losing 0.57% to NZD 1.3709.


Sharecast