Asia-Pacific Mostly Down Monday

Stocks in Asia-Pacific fell in Monday trade as investors digested the release of China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for November.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 211.09 points, or 0.8%, to 26,433.62. Still, the index saw its best month since January 1994.

Japan’s retail sales rose 6.4% year-on-year in October, according to a preliminary report by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The data was in line with a median market forecast.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.18 per U.S. dollar after strengthening from levels above 104.4 against the greenback last week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tumbled 553.19 points, or 2.1%, to 26,341.49.

The Trump administration is reportedly set to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and oil and gas producer CNOOC to a defense blacklist. Shares of CNOOC in Hong Kong plunged 13.97% while SMIC declined 2.7%.

Australian shares were also battered. Treasury Wine Estates saw its stock plunge nearly 7% after the firm announced Monday it would reallocate some wine intended for China and reduce costs following Beijing’s imposition of tariffs on Australian wine.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7383, having risen from levels below $0.732 in the previous week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 erased 20.52 points, or 0.4%, to 4,960.25.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics announced Monday that the official manufacturing PMI for November was at 52.1. That was above expectations for a 51.5 reading forecast by analysts.

PMI readings above 50 signify expansion while those below that level represent contraction. PMI readings are sequential and show month-on-month expansion or contraction.

Monday’s data release represented the ninth straight month of expansion for Chinese manufacturing recovery as the country continues to see a strong bounce from the coronavirus pandemic.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index dumped 42.11 points, or 1.6%, to 2,591.34.

In Taiwan, the Taiex Index subtracted 144.2 points, or 1%, to 13,722.89.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index crumbled 49.87 points, or 1.8%, to 2,805.95.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 rocketed 128.69 points, or 1%, to 12,768.52

In Australia, the ASX 200 lost 83.24 points, or 1.3%, to 6,517.81.