Asian Shares Advance On Chinese Data

Asian stocks ended broadly higher on Monday as a slew of strong economic data from China helped offset investor concerns about inflation.

Investors awaited speeches by a number of Federal Reserve officials this week for additional clues on interest rates and monetary policy going forward.

Chinese shares ended slightly lower as investors waited for the virtual summit of the leaders of the U.S. and China set for this week. U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will exchange views on bilateral and international issues during the virtual meeting.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index slipped 5.80 points, or 0.2 percent, to settle at 3,533.30, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index ended up 62.94 points, or 0.3 percent, at 25,390.91.

Industrial production in China was up 3.5 percent year-on-year in October, the National Bureau of Statistics said, exceeding estimates for 3.0 percent and up from 3.1 percent in September.

The bureau also said that retail sales jumped an annual 4.9 percent – again beating expectations for 3.5 percent and up from 4.4 percent in the previous month.

Fixed asset investment increased an annual 6.1 percent and the jobless rate came in unchanged at 4.9 percent last month, while the house price index was up 3.4 percent, slowing from 3.8 percent in the previous month.

Japanese shares advanced as data showed the country’s economy contracted much faster than expected in the third quarter, ramping up expectations for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s stimulus package.

The Nikkei 225 Index climbed 166.83 points, or 0.6 percent, to 29,776.80, while the broader Topix closed 0.4 percent higher at 2,048.52.

Technology investor SoftBank Group climbed 2.2 percent and medical services platform M3 rallied 3.3 percent. Restaurant chain Skylark Holdings soared 6.5 percent after raising its annual net profit forecast.

Australian markets rose as Chinese economic data surprised on the high side. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index inched up 27.10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 7,470.10, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 32.40 points, or 0.4 percent, at 7,798.20.

Healthcare and tech stocks topped the gainers list, while banks declined amid fears about high inflation and interest rate increases. Drug developer Mesoblast surged 11.8 percent after announcing a positive phase three trial result of its stroke medicine.

Seoul stocks rallied amid foreign and institutional buying. The Kospi jumped 30.72 points, or 1 percent, to close just shy of the 3,000-point mark as investors scrutinized better than expected data from China.

Market heavyweight Samsung Electronics rose 1.1 percent, No. 2 chipmaker SK Hynix soared 4.2 percent and pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics added 3.7 percent.

New Zealand shares eked out modest gains, with the benchmark NZX-50 Index finishing up 56.31 points, or 0.4 percent, at 12,964.46.

A2 Milk climbed 4.5 percent on bargain hunting after having fallen 7 percent last week. Similarly, Pushpay Holdings rose 3.4 percent after losing over 20 percent last week.

Investors shrugged off the results of a survey showing that the services sector in New Zealand contracted at a faster pace in October.

U.S. stocks advanced on Friday despite worries about accelerating inflation and downbeat data showing an unexpected deterioration in U.S. consumer sentiment in November.

The Dow rose half a percent to end higher for the first time in four sessions, while the S&P 500 added 0.7 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1 percent.

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