Asian Shares Decline In Thin Holiday Trading

Asian stocks ended mostly lower on Monday as weak factory activity data from China and Japan raised fresh concerns about the outlook for global growth.

Legislators in the United States passed a last minute, temporary spending bill over the weekend to keep the U.S. government open, helping limit regional losses.

The temporary funding bill allows the government to continue working until November 17, bringing some relief to the markets.

Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong and South Korea were closed for holidays. Chinese markets will continue to remain closed until the end of this week for the Golden week holiday.

A private survey suggested over the weekend that Chinese factory activity expanded at a slower pace in September as a result of sluggish external demand.

The Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index dropped to 50.6 from 51.0 in the previous month.

A firm dollar weighed on gold and copper prices in Asian trade while oil prices edged up slightly after suffering losses at the end of last week.

Japanese shares reversed early losses to close lower on concerns about rising interest rates.

Japanese factory activity fell at the fastest pace in seven months in September, a survey showed today while the Bank of Japan’s quarterly survey revealed business confidence on the rise.

The Nikkei average 225 Index 0.3 percent lower at 31,759.88, after having climbed 1.7 percent earlier in the day. The broader Topix Index dipped 0.4 percent to 2,314.44.

Technology stocks ended mixed, with Advantest and Screen Holdings rising around 3 percent each, while Tokyo Electron and SoftBank Corp both fell over 1 percent.

Banks performed exceedingly well, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial rising 1.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Australian markets fell, dragged down by technology and consumer discretionary stocks.

A survey revealed earlier in the day that Australia’s manufacturing industry continued to see deteriorating conditions in September amid a sharper decline in new orders.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.2 percent to 7,033.20 – reaching its lowest level in around seven weeks ahead of the Reserve Bank’s policy decision on Tuesday under new governor Michael Bullock.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/ZX-50 Index dropped half a percent to 11,243.29 ahead of a Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy meeting on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks ended mixed on Friday to cap a brutal month as new data pointed to easing inflation and House GOP leaders failed to pass a short-term spending bill.

Treasury yields slipped after data showed core inflation based on the Fed’s favorite inflation measure rose 3.9 percent year-on-year in August, marking the lowest in almost three years and down from 4.2 percent in July.

Personal income and spending rose in August, while consumer confidence dropped again in September and a measure of Chicago business activity fell in the month, separate reports showed.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1 percent, while the Dow dropped half a percent and the S&P 500 eased 0.3 percent.

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