×

Asia stocks mixed in quiet trade after China data

Asian equities started the week mixed on Monday as investors focused on a raft of data in China and Japan. Trading volumes were also light with markets in China, South Korea and Taiwan shut for the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Read MoreChina, Japan data deluge on tap this week

Markets showed little reaction to China's August trade report. Exports in the world's second-largest economy jumped 9.4 percent on year, higher than expectations for a 8 percent rise. But imports fell an annual 2.4 percent, missing estimates for a 1.7 percent increase. Still, the country's trade surplus rose to $49.8 billion, well above forecasts for $40 billion.

Gains on Wall Street late last week helped to bolster sentiment. The S&P 500 recorded another record finish as investors shrugged off a surprisingly disappointing jobs report. August nonfarm payrolls added 142,000 jobs while the jobless rate declined to 6.1 percent. Economists had expected payrolls growth of 225,000 last month.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
NIKKEI
---
HSI
---
ASX 200
---
SHANGHAI
---
KOSPI
---
CNBC 100
---

Nikkei up 0.2%

Japanese shares snapped their two-day losing streak despite mixed economic data. Revised second-quarter gross domestic product showed the economy contracting an annualized 7.1 percent, worse than initial estimates of a 6.8 percent contraction. Meanwhile, the country's current account returned to a surplus in July after posting a deficit for the first time in five months in June.

SoftBank rallied over 2 percent after Alibaba filed to sell up to $24.3 billion in stock on Friday, making it the biggest U.S. initial public offering ever. The Japanese firm is a major shareholder in Alibaba.

E-commerce giant Rakuten slumped 4 percent after reaching a basic agreement to buy U.S. shopping website Ebates for $950 million.

Read MoreWatch out: Central bank shock potential

ASX 0.4% lower

Australia's benchmark S&P ASX 200 index fell to a three-week low as a number of stocks traded ex-dividend. Among them, Insurance Australia Group (IAG) lost over 5 percent and blood products maker CSL dropped 2 percent.

Iron ore miners were mixed even as the commodity traded at historical five-year lows; Fortescue Metals gained 2 percent while BC Iron lost 1.8 percent.

But gold miners rallied as bullion prices recovered from a three-month low. Newcrest Mining and Kingsgate Consolidated jumped more than 1 percent each.

Read MoreChina to be biggest economy by 2024 in dollar terms

HSI down 0.3%

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index fell on profit-taking after posting a 2 percent weekly gain on Friday. Last Wednesday, it hit a six-year closing high.

Nifty 1% higher

Indian shares rose thanks to strong foreign buying while the rupee strengthened to its highest level in over five weeks against the greenback.