By Marketwatch and Associated Press
Asian markets gained in early trading Monday following an unexpected jump in China’s manufacturing activity in November.
China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index came in at 50.2 in November, according to official data over the weekend, the first time it topped 50 since April. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal expected a reading of 49.5. Readings above 50 indicate growth, while below signals contraction. Despite the optimistic data, economists said it was too early to say that China’s economy has recovered.
Meanwhile on the trade-war front, a state-run newspaper said Sunday that China “insists” on a rollback of U.S. tariffs as part of any “phase one” trade deal. A separate report by Axios said new tensions over Hong Kong will likely delay a deal until the end of the year, at the earliest, and that a number of sticking point remain, such as the scale of tariff rollbacks and mechanisms for enforcement of the deal.
Japan’s Nikkei /zigman2/quotes/210597971/delayed JP:NIK -3.34% rose 1.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index /zigman2/quotes/210598030/delayed HK:HSI +0.27% gained 0.5%. The Shanghai Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598127/delayed CN:SHCOMP -0.60% edged up 0.3% while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite /zigman2/quotes/210598015/delayed CN:399106 +0.51% advanced 0.5%. South Korea’s Kospi /zigman2/quotes/210598069/delayed KR:180721 +1.18% gained 0.4 and benchmark indexes in Taiwan /zigman2/quotes/210597977/delayed TW:Y9999 +0.05% , Singapore /zigman2/quotes/210597985/delayed SG:STI +0.51% and Indonesia /zigman2/quotes/210597981/delayed ID:JAKIDX -0.34% rose. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 /zigman2/quotes/210598100/delayed AU:XJO -1.60% was up 0.6%.
Among individual stocks, Yahoo Japan parent Z Holdings /zigman2/quotes/207641152/delayed JP:4689 -1.81% gained in Tokyo trading, as did Toyota /zigman2/quotes/203803129/delayed JP:7203 -3.36% and Sony /zigman2/quotes/201361720/delayed JP:6758 -2.81% . In Hong Kong, developers Country Garden /zigman2/quotes/201681083/delayed HK:2007 +0.97% and China Overseas Land Investment /zigman2/quotes/205731176/delayed HK:688 +0.38% advanced, while AAC Technologies /zigman2/quotes/201441510/delayed HK:2018 +2.15% declined. Samsung /zigman2/quotes/209800866/delayed KR:005930 +1.94% inched in up South Korea while Westpac /zigman2/quotes/203084975/delayed AU:WBC -1.65% and Rio Tinto /zigman2/quotes/200083756/delayed AU:RIO -1.74% advanced in Ausralia.