Sat, March 02, 2024

Asia-Pacific stocks were muted after a shorter trading day

The majority of Southeast Asian stock markets closed in red

Stocks in Asia-Pacific were muted on Monday. Remarkably, Hong Kong witnessed a shorter trading day following a morning pause due to harsh weather conditions.

The Hang Seng index declined fractionally on Monday to 29,268.30. Remarkably, trading in Hong Kong’s markets continued Monday afternoon in the city after an earlier harsh weather warning was lowered.

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing reported earlier on Monday that the morning trading sessions of both the securities and derivatives markets, including Stock Connect trading, was delayed due to a black rainstorm warning.

Black rainstorm signals are issued as a warning of heavy rain that is expected to bring about flooding on the roads, leading to traffic congestion.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed mixed. The Shanghai composite traded lower at 3.606.37, while the Shenzhen component boosted 0.975% to 15,150.17.

The country has a busy week ahead, with the manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers’ indexes (PMIs) due on June 30. Moreover, President Xi Jinping is delivering a speech to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party a day later.

Profits at China’s industrial firms soared 36.4% in May compared to a year earlier

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics data, profits at China’s industrial firms soared 36.4% in May compared to a year earlier. Remarkably, that was a slowdown from the 57% year-on-year growth recorded in April.

Additionally, the Nikkei 225 in Japan dropped fractionally to finish the trading day at 29,048.02. Meanwhile, the Topix index surged 0.15% to close at 1,965.67. South Korea’s Kospi closed slightly changed at 3,301.89.

Indonesia is fighting a record high. However, the blockade in Malaysia will be extended. Thailand has also published new regulations in Bangkok and other states.

In Australia, the ASX 200 declined 0.17%. Sydney is currently under lockdown to deal with its latest outbreak involving the Delta variant of coronavirus. Moreover, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe is scheduled to address a banking summit in the city on June 29.

MSCI’s broadest non-Japanese Asia-Pacific stock index was slightly lower at 702.57 at the end.

China’s stock prices increased slightly, with the CSI300 index boosting 0.2%. Weekend data showed that rising raw material prices squeezed margins and squeezed factory activity, slowing profit growth again for Chinese industrial companies in May.

Investors will be watching official factory activities from China scheduled for Wednesday. Manufacturing readings are likely to decline from 51 to 50.7. Moreover, the private sector Caixin Manufacturing PMI will continue later in the week.

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