Asia Mixed on China Figures

Asia markets mostly rose on Monday as investors continued to watch for developments on issues such as the coronavirus pandemic. Gold prices surged to record highs.

Markets in Japan went back to work Monday after several days off, the Nikkei 225 losing 35.76 points, or 0.2%, to 22,715.85.

The Bank of Japan’s Summary of Opinions for its mid-July meeting, released Monday, said the country’s economy is expected to "pick up moderately" from the second half of 2020. The central bank warned, however, that the economy is "unlikely to return to the level reached before the outbreak of COVID-19" even in fiscal 2022.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.47 per U.S. dollar after strengthening sharply late last week from levels above 106.5 against the greenback.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index docked 102.07 points, or 0.4%, to 24,603.26.

Stocks in Taiwan led gains among the region’s major markets, with shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company up nearly 10%.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7138 following its rise from levels below $0.702 last week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 gained 22.86 points, or 0.5%, to 4,528.45.

On the economic data front, China’s industrial profits for June soared 11.5% year-on-year, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

U.S.-China tensions, which took centre stage last week as mainland Chinese stocks plunged on Friday amid a sharp exchange of words between the two economic powerhouses, also continued to be monitored by investors.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index dropped 3.72 points, or 0.1% to 2,575.79.

In Korea, the Kospi recovered 17.42 points, or 0.8%, to 2,217.86

In Taiwan, the Taiex index progressed 284.26 points, or 2.3%, to 12,588.30

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 sank 50.63 points, or 0.4%, to 11,585.62

In Australia, the ASX 200 moved higher 20.18 points, or 0.3%, to 6,044.17