Asia stocks mixed as new US-China tariffs go into effect
Mainland Chinese shares jumped on the day, as the Shanghai composite added 1.31% to around 2,924.11 and the Shenzhen component was up 2.18% to 9,569.47. The Shenzhen composite also gained 2.259% to approximately 1,614.92.
The technology sector also got a boost from a Sunday statement about the importance of investing in the high-tech space, as the Chinext index soared 3.04% to about 1,944.42.
China’s State Council had announced more measures to support its economy on Sunday. In the statement, originally posted in Mandarin, it said that it attached “great importance” to the development of sectors such as infrastructure, high-tech, and the transformation of traditional industries.
Over in Hong Kong, however, the Hang Seng index slipped 0.64%, as of its final hour of trading. Tensions worsened in the beleaguered city, with another round of fresh protests that occurred over the weekend. Shares of railway operator MTR plunged more than 3%, with infrastructure at multiple stations being damaged in the past few days.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 0.41% to close at 20,620.19, while the Topix index also fell 0.44% to finish its trading day at 1,505.21. Over in South Korea, the Kospi ended its trading day in Seoul fractionally higher at 1,969.19. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.38% to close at 6,579.40.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index fell 0.32%.
Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart
U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday that trade negotiations with China are still planned for September.
It seems almost impossible to think ” Beijing and Washington are “going to settle everything with one big bang” at the upcoming trade talks in September, Richard Harris, chief executive at Port Shelter Investment Management, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.
“I don’t really expect an awful lot coming from them,” he said. “I think the best markets can hope for is that there’s nothing worse and there’s no big bust up.”
Chinese manufacturing data
The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August was at 50.4, better than expectations of 49.8 by economists in a Reuters poll. The 50 level separates expansion and contraction, with PMI readings above that number signalling growth and vice versa.
However, official data showed over the weekend showed factory activity in China shrinking for the fourth month in a row in August.
Currencies and oil
The Japanese yen changed hands at 106.16 against the dollar after weakening from levels below 105 in the previous trading week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6729 after slipping from highs above $0.676 last week.
Oil prices were mixed in the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down fractionally to $59.20 per barrel. U.S. crude futures, on the other hand, were up 0.11% to $55.16 per barrel.
— Reuters and CNBC’s Spencer Kimball contributed to this report.
Europe stocks close higher on manufacturing data; Brexit in focus as FTSE 100 rises 1%
European Markets: FTSE, GDAXI, FCHI, IBEX
China and the U.S. kicked off a new round of trade tariffs on one another’s imports over the weekend, despite signs that talks could resume in September. The latest round of tariffs sees the U.S. imposing 15% tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods, including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions, while China targeted U.S. crude with 5% duties.
Reuters reported on Monday that China had lodged a complaint against the U.S. with the World Trade Organization.
Back in Europe, PMI (purchasing managers’ index) data showed that euro zone manufacturing activity contracted for a seventh month in August as weaker demand weighed on companies. However, the 47.0 figure for the bloc represented a modest improvement on the 46.5 reading for July.
U.K. manufacturing PMI nosedived at its fastest rate in seven years, falling to 47.4 from 48.0 and coming in a full point lower than the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists.
U.K. lawmakers will bring forward legislation this week seeking to block the possibility of Britain leaving the European Union without a deal. The main opposition Labour party will publish its legislation plan on Tuesday, but the Conservative-led government has so far declined to guarantee it will abide by the new law.
Sterling dived nearly 0.8% against the dollar on Monday, trading at around $1.2058, while the FTSE 100 climbed 1%.
Stocks on the move
Elsewhere, pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca’s shares hit an all-time high during Monday’s session after positive results from a late-stage drug study. Shares of the company were up 3% at the market close.
At the other end of the European blue chip index, Luxembourg-based Grand City Properties fell 4.4%, closely followed by Spanish lender Bankia, which shed 4.3%.