Stocks in Asia-Pacific declined on Monday, with data released over the weekend showing Chinese factory activity contracted in April.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.11% as shares of robot maker Fanuc declined 2.26%. The Topix index dipped fractionally to end its trading day at 1,898.35.
In South Korea, Kospi fell 0.28% to finish its trading day at 2,687.45. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 declined 1.18% to 7,347.
The world’s second-largest economy is under huge pressure due to the pandemic. Importantly, China’s factory activity contracted at a steeper pace in April as Covid lockdowns hit industrial production, according to data released over the weekend.
The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for April fell to 47.4, a second straight month of contraction following with March’s reading of 49.5. It is worth noting that the 50-point mark in PMI readings separates growth from contraction. Moreover, PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.
A private survey also highlighted the severity of the problem. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI came in at 46.
Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore as well as Taiwan are closed on Monday for a holiday.
U.S. stocks and interesting facts
U.S. stocks moved back and forth between gains and losses in volatile trading on Monday as Wall Street tried to shake off a brutal month that saw the Nasdaq Composite suffer its worst stretch since 2008.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 63 points, or 0.2% after being up more than 200 points earlier in the session. The S&P 500 fell about 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3%.
The S&P and Dow Jones Industrial Average are coming off their worst month since March 2020. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished April 4.9% lower, while the S&P dropped 8.8%. The Nasdaq Composite fell 13.26% in April, its worst result since 2008.
Tech was a particularly weak point in April, and some of the biggest names were struggling once again on Monday. Shares of Amazon dropped 2.7%, while Apple also plunged into the red.
Netflix, nevertheless, advanced 3.5% and Disney rose more than 1%. Google’s parent company Alphabet and Microsoft gained about 1% each.
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