Asia Markets

Japan's Nikkei 225 jumps more than 2%; data show China factory activity growth slowed in February

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Key Points
  • China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for February came in at 50.6, according to data released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics over the weekend. That was lower than January's reading of 51.3 but still above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.
  • A private survey released Monday also showed China's manufacturing activity in February growing at a slower pace, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI coming in at 50.9.
  • South Korea's markets were closed on Monday for a holiday.

SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific rose on Monday, as data releases showed China's manufacturing activity growth slowing in February.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 jumped 2.41% to close at 29,663.50, as the index recovered partially from its nearly 4% plunge on Friday. The Topix index gained 2.04% to finish its trading day at 1,902.48.

Mainland Chinese stocks also saw robust gains on the day, as the Shanghai composite gained 1.21% to 3,551.40 while the Shenzhen component jumped 2.412% to 14,857.34.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index advanced 1.63% to close at 29,452.57. Shares of CNOOC listed in the city, however, dropped 1.08%. That came after the New York Stock Exchange announced Friday that it will commence delisting proceedings against CNOOC following an update to an executive order signed by former U.S. President Donald Trump in November.

Stocks in Australia edged higher as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.74% to close at 6,789.60.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.34%.

South Korea's markets were closed on Monday for a holiday

China manufacturing PMI

China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for February came in at 50.6 over the weekend, according to data released by the country's National Bureau of Statistics.

That was lower than January's reading of 51.3 but still above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.

A private survey released Monday also showed China's manufacturing activity in February growing at a slower pace.

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 50.9, a decline from January's reading of 51.5.

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

Oil prices jump

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.75% to $65.55 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 1.74% to $62.57 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.887 after recovering from levels below 90 in late February.

The Japanese yen traded at 106.56 per dollar, weaker than levels below 105.6 against the greenback seen last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7752, having slipped from levels above $0.792 last week.

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