Asia stocks mixed as Japanese trading firm shares jump; China’s manufacturing activity expands in August – CNBC

Shares in Asia Pacific were mixed on Monday, with Japan stocks leading gains among the region’s major markets as investors monitored political developments in the country.

Mainland Chinese stocks shed earlier gains to slip on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.24% to about 3,395.68 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.672% to around 13,758.23. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 0.13% lower, as of its final hour of trading.

China announced Monday that manufacturing activity expanded in August. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for that month came in at 51.0, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. That was below expectations of a reading of 51.2 by analysts in a Reuters poll.

PMI readings above 50 signify expansion while those below that mark represent contraction. The readings are sequential and indicate on-month expansion or contraction. Chinese economic data has been watched by investors for clues on the state of the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.12% to close at 23,139.76 while the Topix index advanced 0.83% to end its trading day at 1,618.18, after losses on Friday as longstanding Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced a surprise resignation on Friday due to health reasons. Developments in Japanese politics continued to be watched by investors on Monday, as the search for the country’s new prime minister continues.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.69 per dollar, after strengthening sharply from levels above 106.5 against the greenback late last week.