SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday morning trade, as data showed Chinese manufacturing activity growth slowed in July. Oil prices, meanwhile, fell over 1%.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.58% in morning trade while the Topix index gained 1.74%.
The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for July released Monday came in at 50.3, much lower than expectations by analysts in a Reuters poll for a reading of 51.1. The Caixin manufacturing PMI figure had come in at 51.3 in June.
China’s official manufacturing PMI released over the weekend also showed factory activity growth slowing in July, with the figure for the month coming in at 50.4 versus June’s reading of 50.9.
PMI readings above 50 represent expansion, while those below that level signal contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contractions.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.09% lower.
Meanwhile, Chinese electric vehicle maker Xpeng saw its Hong Kong-listed shares jump more than 9% after the firm announced Monday a record monthly high for vehicles delivered in July.
The Covid situation in the region may also weigh on investor sentiment. More areas in Japan entered a Covid-19 state of emergency on Monday due to a spike in virus cases, according to local news agency Kyodo News.
Meanwhile, Chinese state media reported that governments at various levels across the country have taken virus containment measures following a resurgence in infections that reportedly started in the city of Nanjing.
Oil falls 1%
Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures slipping 1.45% to $74.32 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 1.27% to $73.01 per barrel.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.128 after a recent decline from levels above 92.4.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.72 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7335, having slipped from levels above $0.738 late last week.