October 22, 2020

Asia Pacific stocks trade mixed; private survey of Chinese factory activity ahead

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded mixed Monday morning as U.S.-China tensions continue to heat up.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.07% in early trade, while the Topix index advanced 1.03%. South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, slipped 0.15%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dipped fractionally.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.15% lower.

Tensions between Washington and Beijing are likely to continue being watched by investors, with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump is set to announce “in the coming days” new actions related to Chinese software companies viewed by his administration as a national security threat.

On Friday, Trump told reporters he will act soon to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the U.S., according to NBC News. Microsoft on Sunday confirmed it has held talks to buy TikTok in the U.S. from Chinese tech firm ByteDance.

On the economic data front, a private survey of Chinese factory activity is set to be released on Monday, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index expected to be out at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.

Meanwhile, HSBC is also set to report its interim results on Monday.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.418 after bouncing from levels below 93 late last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.79 per dollar after weakening sharply from levels below 105 late in the previous trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7148 after slipping from levels above $0.72 last week.

Oil prices dipped in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.14% to $43.46 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.27% to $40.16 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Hong Kong: HSBC interim results

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