Asian stocks rise, Hong Kong falls on weak factory data

BANGKOK (AP) – Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Monday after a strong close on Wall Street last week, although the latest manufacturing surveys showed weak factory activity in the region’s biggest economies.

Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney advanced while Hong Kong and Seoul slipped. US futures fell and oil prices fell by more than $1 a barrel.

On Friday, Wall Street closed its best month since November 2020. The S&P 500 index, a benchmark for many stock funds, rose 1.4% and ended 9.1% higher for July.

A rebound in technology stocks, large retailers and other companies that rely on direct consumer spending helped post broad gains in July, though the index is still down 13.3% for the year.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index rose 0.5% to 27,948.50 while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2% to 3,258.46. In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.4% to 6,972.80. In Seoul, the Kospi was down 0.1% at 2,448.47 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.3% at 20,091.11.

Chinese manufacturing’s recovery from anti-virus shutdowns in July faltered as activity plunged, a survey showed on Sunday, adding to the pressure on a struggling economy in a politically sensitive year when President Xi Jinping was asked to try to extend his time in power. is expected.

Factory activity was depressed by weak global demand and anti-virus controls weighing on domestic consumer spending, according to the National Statistics Agency and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing, an official industry group.

A similar survey of purchasing managers, the AU Jibun Bank Japan Manufacturing PMI, declined from 52.7 in June to 52.1 in July, the slowest growth in 10 months for the sector as energy and labor costs rose. The survey measures various components on a scale of up to 100, with readings above 50 indicating expansion.

Sector investors will get a new installment of updates on corporate results this week. Wall Street’s latest rally came as investors weighed in on the mix of the company’s earnings report and last month saw the biggest jump in new data showing inflation in four decades.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.9%, up 12.4% on the month, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% and posted a 6.7% gain for the month. The Russell 2000 rose 0.7%, ending July with a gain of 10.4%.

Weak economic data, including a report on Thursday that showed the US economy could contract last quarter and be in a recession, has also propelled stocks higher, leading some investors to believe that the Federal Reserve The reserve will soon be able to dial back its aggressive pace of rate hikes. than expected.

The central bank on Wednesday raised its key short-term interest rate by 0.75 percentage points, lifting it to the highest level since 2018. The Fed is raising rates to slow the US economy and reduce inflation.

An inflation gauge that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve jumped 6.8% in June from a year earlier, the biggest increase in four decades, giving Americans no respite from rising prices. On a month-on-month basis, inflation rose to 1% from May’s 0.6% monthly increase, the Commerce Department said on Friday.

In Europe, inflation rose in July, reaching 8.9% in 19 European countries that use the euro currency.

In other trade, US benchmark crude oil fell by $ 1.31 to $ 97.31 a barrel. On Friday, it jumped $2.20 to reach $98.62. Brent crude, the base for international oil pricing, fell by $1.04 to $102.93 a barrel.

The US dollar fell from 133.25 yen to 132.48 Japanese yen. The euro rose from $1.0223 to $1.0228.

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