Asia Higher as Chinese Exports Decline

Asia markets rose on Monday as investors reacted to a series of recent data releases in major economies including the United States and China.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 index rallied 118.85 points, or 0.6%, to 21,318.43. Shares of Japanese automaker Nissan slipped 0.2% following reports that company Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa has expressed his desire to resign, following an admission last week to being improperly compensated.

Japan’s economy grew an annualized 1.3% in the April to June quarter, according to revised data from the Cabinet Office on Monday. That was lower than the initial estimate of a 1.8% expansion, but matched market expectations.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.93 against the U.S. dollar after weakening from levels below 106.0 in the previous week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index docked 9.36 points to 26,681.46, following another weekend of protests in the embattled city.

Korean markets fought their way up, with shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumping 2.9%

Australian markets were flat. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6856 following its rise from levels below $0.672 last week.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 added 24.44 points, or 0.6%, to 3,972.95

Chinese customs data showed the country’s exports unexpectedly fell in August, pointing to further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy. August exports fell 1% on-year, customs data showed Sunday, while analysts had predicted a 2% rise.

Shipments from China to the United States slowed sharply as the countries are engaged in a protracted trade fight. Beijing and Washington have levied tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s goods, which, analysts say, is affecting global growth. More U.S. tariffs are set to take effects on Oct. 1 and Dec. 15.

The data miss now raises expectations that Beijing may introduce more stimulus measures to prop up its economy.

The People’s Bank of China announced Friday that it was cutting the amount of funds that lenders need to hold in reserve. The Chinese central bank said the reserve requirement ratio would be cut by 50 basis points and it would further reduce that ratio by 100 basis points for some qualified banks.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index forged ahead 10.42 points, or 0.5%, to 2,019.55

In Taiwan, the Taiex index advanced 20.5 points, or 0.2%, to 10,801.14

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index edged up 1.85 points, or 0.1%, to 3,146.33

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 bucked the trend and lost 16.07 points, or 0.1%, to 11,202.97

In Australia, the ASX 200 inched up 0.64 points to 6,647.96