Japan stocks set for mixed start; China says its manufacturing activity growth slowed in January


SINGAPORE — Stocks in Japan were set for a mixed start as official data released over the weekend showed manufacturing activity in China growing at a slower pace in January.

Futures pointed to a mixed start for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 27,610 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 27,820. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 27,663.39.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped about 1.3% in morning trade.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 51.3 in January, according to a statement by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics on Sunday.

In comparison, the reading for December was 51.9 and remained above the 50-level, which indicates growth. PMI readings below that level signal contraction. Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected the figure for January to come in at 51.6.

Looking ahead, a private survey of Chinese manufacturing activity in January is set to be released, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI expected to be out around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Monday.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.65 after recently rising from levels below 90.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.75 per dollar following its weakening last week from levels below 104 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.761, having slipped from levels above $0.768 last week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN



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