Asia markets shrugged off weak China data. China's exports and imports fell more-than-expected in dollar-denominated terms in July, which could revive concerns over the economic outlook for the world's second largest economy both at home and abroad.
Exports for July fell 4.4 percent on-year, while imports declined by 12.5 percent in dollar terms, reported Reuters. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted declines of 3 and 7 percent, respectively. The trade surplus for the month came in at $52.31 billion.
Economists said the data didn't bode well for China's exports, but at least one analyst noted that trade wasn't quite as important to the mainland as it used to be.
"China is less reliant on external demand than it used to be and we still think the continued feed through from stronger credit growth will provide some further support to domestic demand during the rest of this year," Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, said in a note Monday.
"We are not overly concerned about the immediate prospects for China, despite today's disappointing data."
In the currency market, the Japanese yen was relatively weaker against the dollar, trading as low as 102.25 early morning. As of 2:22 p.m. HK/SIN, the dollar/yen pair traded at 102.05, compared with levels near 100.8 in the previous week.
The weakness in the yen likely boosted major exporters in Japan. Shares of Toyota closed up 3.33 percent, Nissan was higher by 2.60 percent and Mazda Motor gained 5.70 percent.
The dollar was up 0.02 percent at 96.217 against a basket of currencies, compared with levels under 96 before the jobs report on Friday.
"Friday's unambiguously strong non-farm payrolls report sent the U.S. dollar soaring against all of the major currencies," said Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management in a late-Friday note.
"The outlook for the economy is also bright with the rise in the participation rate and number of hours worked per week," she said, adding it was a "sharp comparison to the grim outlooks for the U.K., Japan, parts of the Eurozone and Canada."
The Chinese yuan was marginally weaker against the greenback, trading at 6.6588. Analysts at ANZ Research said that the yuan, which is also known as the renminbi, will see "modest depreciation pressures in the near term" despite the "sizeable" trade surplus registered in July.
Japanese government bond (JGB) yields rose on Monday; the yield on the 10-year JGB was at negative 0.048 percent, compared with levels near negative 0.10 percent on Friday. Bond prices move inversely to yields.
In company news, Singapore's DBS Group announced its net profit for the second quarter was down 6 percent on-year at 1.05 billion Singapore dollars ($778 million) due to a net allowance charge of S$150 million for the bank's exposure to the Swiber group, which was placed under judicial management.
For the first half 2016, DBS said its net profit was at S$2.25 billion.
DBS shares traded up 1.62 percent.
Shares of Mitsubishi Heavy closed up 4.64 percent, after Reuters reported, citing a local news agency, that Iran intends to buy 20 regional jets from a business unit belonging to the company. Reuters said, citing the Mehr News agency, that the deal was likely to be finalized when a Japanese delegation visits Tehran in December.
On the earnings front, Australian bank Bendigo and Adelaide Bank announced an after-tax profit of 415.6 million Australian dollars ($316.41 million) for the 12 months ended June 30, 2016. Cash earnings were at A$439.3 million, a 1.6 percent on-year increase.
Shares of Bendigo and Adelaide Bank closed up 4.32 percent.