China PMI, Japan retail sales, currencies, oil

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SINGAPORE – Asia-Pacific stocks saw a spurt in Monday’s trade as investors digested China’s official Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) release for November.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced on Monday that the official manufacturing PMI for November was at 52.1. It was above expectations for a 51.5 reading forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

PMI above 50 indicates expansion while those below that level represent contraction. PMI readings are sequential and show month-to-month expansion or contraction.

Monday’s data release represented the ninth straight month of expansion for Chinese manufacturing recovery as the country continues its strong surge from the coronovirus epidemic.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher in early trade with the Shanghai Composite adding 0.83% while the Shenzhen component added 0.343%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.28%. Shares of city-listed HSBC have shed more than 0.5% after a Financial Times report that the bank is considering exiting US retail banking.

Markets remain silent

Other places in the region had slightly changed markets in the morning.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 sat below the flatline while the Topics index dropped 0.56%.

According to a preliminary report by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan’s retail sales grew by 6.4% year-on-year in October. The data was in line with an average market forecast, according to Reuters.

Kospi of South Korea was down 0.2%.

Meanwhile, Australia’s shares declined 0.76% in the S&P / ASX 200.

MSCI’s largest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded down 0.08%.

Markets are closed on holidays in India on Mondays.

Trade friction between Washington and Beijing may also be weighed on investor sentiment on Monday. Citing sources, Reuters reported that the Trump administration is ready to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and oil and gas producer CNOOC to a defense blacklist.

Fall in oil prices

Oil prices fell on the morning of Asia’s trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down nearly 1% to $ 47.67 a barrel. US crude futures also lost 0.75% to $ 45.19 a barrel.

The US Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.692 after declining in recent days from a level above 92.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.4 after strengthening from the 103.47 per dollar level against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7397, rising from a level below $ 0.732 in the previous week.

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