Asian Daily Market Review 2.12.19

Asian markets are trading broadly higher Monday morning after a private reading of Chinese factory activity came in stronger than expected for November, raising hopes for a developing recovery in the faltering economy.

The Caixin Markit manufacturing activity index came in at 51.8 for November, beating expectations for a 51.4 reading and beating the October reading of 51.7. Official data also showed November manufacturing PMI to be at 50.2, exceeding expectations of a 49.5 reading, and the October mark of 49.3. A reading above 50 indicates a growing economy.

Mainland China’s Shanghai Composite is up by 0.5% in early trade in reaction to the data, while the smaller-cap Shenzhen Composite has a 0.4% gain. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng is rising 0.6%.

Japan’s Nikkei is outperforming, trading 1% higher in morning trade as the Yen is weakening towards the 110.00 level against the U.S. dollar. The weaker Yen is beneficial for Japanese multinational companies.

In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 has a 0.5% gain, with the big four banks strongly higher, gaining in the range of 0.9% to 1.3%, although NAB is only up 0.2%. The strong Chinese factory data is also helping mining shares, with Rio Tinto adding 0.7%, and Fortescue Metals trading 0.9% higher.

In South Korea, the Kospi is rising 0.3%, while Taiwan’s Taiex is bucking the rising trend across the region with a modest loss of 0.1%.

Southeast Asian markets are broadly higher, with Malaysia’s KLCI rising 0.4%, the Jakarta Composite in Indonesia 0.3% higher, and the Straits Times in Singapore edging up 0.1%.

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