On the first day of February stocks in Asia-Pacific strengthened their positions. Let’s have a look at the stocks to learn more about the situation.
Interestingly, stocks jumped on Monday as silver prices saw strong gains. It is worth noting that South Korea’s Kospi led gains among the region’s major markets, adding 2.7% to close at 3,056.53, as shares of biopharmaceutical firm Celltrion gained 14.51%.
It was good for mainland Chinese stocks. The Shanghai Composite added 0.64% to 3,505.28. At the same time, the Shenzhen Component advanced 1.365% to finish its trading day at 15,024.24.
According to a private survey, Chinese manufacturing activity growth in January was not as good as in December. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) coming in at 51.5. Interestingly, analysts expected the index to reach 52.7. As a reminder, figures above 50 in PMI readings represent expansion, while the result below that level signifies contraction.
People should take into account that the latest Caixin numbers came a day after China released its official PMI for January, which was at 51.3. Importantly, the reading for December was 51.9.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also strengthened its position on Monday. The Hang Seng Index added 2.15% to end its trading day at 28,892.86.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.55% to close at 28,091.05. In the meantime, the Topix index advanced 1.16% to close at 1,829.84.
Moreover, in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.84% to close at 6,663. Interestingly, shares of several Australia-listed miners jumped on Monday. Shares of Argent Minerals rose 59.65% and Adriatic Minerals added 19.82%. Also, shares of South32 advanced 3.94%. Importantly, that came as spot silver prices rose, the last trading more than 10% higher at $29.78 an ounce.
Stocks and manufacturing activity
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) fell to 51.3 in January from 51.9 in December. It is worth noting that China’s factory activity grew at the slowest pace in the five months in January. There are numerous factors have the ability to affect stocks.
Nevertheless, it remained above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis. Importantly, the official PMI which largely focuses on big and state-owned firms, showed the sub-index for new export orders stood at 50.2 expanding for the fifth straight month.
Last month, China reported more than 2,000 local cases of the coronavirus. Interestingly, during the month several large cities were locked down with tens of millions tested for COVID-19. Restrictions affected the manufacturing activity in the country.