Stocks in the Asia Pacific were mixed on the last day of this month. For example, Japanese stocks led losses among Asia’s major markets. The Nikkei 225 fell by 2.82% to close at 21,710 as shares of the conglomerate Softbank Group dropped by 4.39%. At the same time, the Topix index fell by 2.82% to end its trading day at 1,496.06.
However, mainland Chinese stocks strengthened their positions on Friday. The Shanghai Composite added 0.71% to about 3,310.01. In the meantime, the Shenzhen Component gained 1.27% to around 13,637.88.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell by 0.14% as of its final hour of trading.
Also, South Korea’s Kospi index dropped by 0.78% to close at 2,249.37.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 2.04% to around 13,637.88.
It is worth mentioning that markets in Singapore, Indonesia, as well as Malaysia, were closed for a holiday on Friday.
Stocks and various factors
China’s factory activity expanded in July based on the information provided by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. Interestingly, factory activity expanded for the firth month in a row. Importantly, China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index for July surpassed expectations. Interestingly, analysts expected a reading of 50.7 while the actual result reached 51.1. People should take into account that the 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
According to the U.S. government, the gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 32.9% in the second quarter of this year. Unfortunately, it was the worst drop ever. Nevertheless, the data print was not as bad as feared. Economists originally expected a 34.7% decline.
The coronavirus pandemic created a lot of problems for the U.S. economy. Millions of people lost their jobs. Moreover, companies in the U.S. and elsewhere are trying to adapt to the everchanging environment. It will take time to get the economy back on track.
Let’s get back to stocks in Asia. It was thankfully a positive day for mainland Chinese stocks.