Stocks at the beginning of December

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Asian stock markets

Today is the first trading day of December. The good news is that stocks in major Asian markets increased thanks to Chinese factory activity.

On December 2, mainland Chinese stocks strengthened their positions. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.13% to around 2,875.81. Meanwhile, the Shenzhen component rose 0.24% to 9,605.19. Another Chinese index, which is the Shenzhen composite added 0.219% to approximately 1,596.60.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index increased by 0.41% during the final hour of trading.

Japan has the second-largest economy in Asia after China. Japanese stocks reached impressive results on Monday. The Nikkei 225 gained 1.01% to 23,529.50. The shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing rose by 1.66%. The Topix index also increased by 0.89% and is close to 1,714.49.

In South Korea, the Kospi index closed 0.19 higher at 2,091.92. In another part of the Asia Pacific region, the S&P/ASX 200 added 0.24% and finished the trading day at 6,862.30.

MSCI Asia ex-Japan gained 0.23%.

Stocks and China’s manufacturing dataStocks and politics

On Monday, a private survey of Chinese factory activity surpassed market expectations. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) increased to 51.8 in November.

Economists expected that the PMI index would reach 51.4. It is worth mentioning that the 50-points mark separates growth and contraction when it comes to PMI readings. In October, PMI reading was a little bit lower at 51.7.

According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics, the PMI index was at 50.2 in November. The official information became available over the weekend.

This result also exceeded the expectations, as analysts thought that November reading would reach 49.5. Last month, the official PMI reading was at 49.3.

Uncertainty regarding the future of U.S.-China trade negotiations as well as protests in Hong Kong already affected the stock markets. The date when U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping will sign a “phase one” deal remains unknown.

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