Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed in early trade on Monday as investors awaited the release of China’s benchmark lending rate.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.19%, with some gains seen in the tech sector. The Topix was flat in early trade.
Japan’s exports dived 26.2% in June from a year earlier, data showed, according to Reuters. That was a worse decline than expected as economists in a Reuters poll had predicted a 24.9% decline. Imports fell 14.4%, compared with expectations of a 16.8% decline, according to Reuters.
In May, Japan’s exports had fallen 28.3%, the fastest pace since the global financial crisis as U.S.-bound car shipments plunged, according to Reuters.
Autos, a big export sector for Japan, fell in early trade. Nissan declined 2.39%, Mitsubishi Motor tumbled 2.12% and Suzuki dived almost 2%.
Overall, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded flat.
In other expected developments on Monday, China is due to release its loan prime rate. A Reuters poll found that it is expected to keep its benchmark lending rate steady for the third straight month.
Over in Hong Kong, markets will be watched for reaction as the city tightened restrictions again after reported cases surged to more than 100 in 24 hours over the weekend. Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam said the situation was “very serious and there is no sign of it coming under control,” according to Reuters.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.917 as it continued to decline from levels above 96 last week.
The Japanese yen traded at 107.06 per dollar, after a turbulent previous week where it traded at around levels between 106 and 107. The Australian dollar touched the 0.70 level briefly, before hovering slightly below that level.
What’s on tap (all times in HK/SIN):
- 9:30 a.m.: China’s loan prime rate
- 4:30 p.m.: Hong Kong’s unemployment rate for June
- Earnings: Australia’s South32