Growth Concerns Leave Asia Mixed

Asia Pacific markets traded mixed on Monday as investors remained cautious over a possible global economic slowdown after important data in the United States and China missed expectations last week.

The Nikkei 225 average gained 99.53 points, or 0.5%, Monday to 21,125.09

Nissan shares advanced 1.1% as the company's former boss, Carlos Ghosn, is reportedly seeking permission from the Tokyo District Court to attend the automaker's board meeting on Tuesday.

Ghosn, the former Nissan chairman, was released from a detention center in Tokyo last week on $9 million in bail after being detained for more than 100 days on financial misconduct charges. He has called those charges "meritless."

The Japanese yen fetched 111.14 to the U.S. dollar, strengthening from previous lows around 111.60 last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index galloped 274.88 points, or 1%, to 28,503.30

Australian indexes faded, as most sectors declined. The energy sector was down 1.6% as oil stocks retreated: Shares of Santos were down 2.2%, Oil Search lower by 2% and Woodside Petroleum declined 1.7%.

The Australian dollar traded at $0.7042 U.S.


The CSI 300 index jumped 72.37 points, or 2%, to 3,729.95

The on-shore yuan was near flat at 6.7224 against the U.S. dollar, retreating from an earlier level of 6.7244. The People's Bank of China is expected to ease monetary policy further to encourage lending as it seeks to support the country's slowing economy.

Its head, Governor Yi Gang, reportedly said on Sunday the central bank will not use the exchange rate to boost its exports or as a tool in trade frictions.

Meanwhile, Chinese customs data showed exports fell 20.7% on-year last month, missing economists' expectations of a 4.8% decline. Imports dropped 5.2%, more than the 1.4% predicted fall.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index docked 4.45 points, or 0.1%, to 3,191.42

Korea’s Kospi Index inched up 0.66 points to 2,138.10

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index added 8.53 points, or 0.1%, to 10,250.28

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dipped 49.42 points, or 0.5%, to 9,390.84

In Australia, the ASX 200 gave back 23.57 points, or 0.4%, to 6,180.19