Beijing, Chine (BBN)-Asian markets traded mostly lower on Monday as surprisingly weak trade data from the world’s second largest economy, China, dented investor confidence.
Figures released on Sunday showed exports were up 3.3% in January from a year ago, while imports tumbled 19.9%, far worse than analysts expectations, reports BBC.
The figures took the shine off Friday’s January US jobs data.
January was the 11th consecutive month that saw over 200,000 jobs created.
Chinese markets opened lower with the Hang Seng index down 0.6% at 24,529.55.
On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite was down 0.4% to 3,061.12.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.5% at 5,791.1 points, lower after closing higher in the previous 12 trading sessions.
Investors also seemed to shrug off news that Prime Minister Tony Abbott survived a party confidence vote on his leadership on Monday, removing some political uncertainty.
In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.2% at 17,676.29, mainly due to the yen weakening against the US dollar on the jobs report.
The dollar rose on Friday after the upbeat US jobs report fuelled speculation that the Federal Reserve would stay on track to raise interest rates by mid-year.
The dollar was at 118.82 yen, up from 117.33 yen in Tokyo on Friday.
A weak yen is positive for Japanese exporters as it increases their profits when repatriated.
Investors also ignored data on Monday that showed that Japan’s current account surplus fell more than 18% in 2014, shrinking for the fourth consecutive year.
Meanwhile, South Korean shares were lower with the Kospi index down 0.5% at 1,946.19.
Friday, February 22, 2019