SINGAPORE – Shares in the Asia-Pacific region fell on Monday as investors watched the market react to Chinese trade data, which turned out to be better than expected.
China’s exports in dollars rose 3.9% in April compared to the same period last year, customs data on Monday showed. According to a Reuters poll, they were higher than analysts expected in terms of growth of 3.2%.
According to Reuters, China’s imports in dollars did not change in April compared to a year ago, which is better than expected to fall by 3%.
The data came as mainland China continued to fight Covid’s worst outbreak since early 2020. President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping on Thursday stressed that the country must adhere to its “dynamic zero-Kovid” policy..
“It is unclear how soon China will return to life with COVID,” Tapas Strickland, an economist at the National Bank of Australia, wrote in a note Monday. “As for the data, it is expected to take a back seat given the blockages / tightened restrictions in many parts of the country.”
The broadest Asia-Pacific equity index MSCI outside Japan fell 1.26%.
“We warned against becoming too bearish,” said Steve Bryce, chief investment officer of Standard Chartered Wealth Management, on CNBC’s Street Signs Asia on Monday.
“If you look at the indicators … in terms of the market, this bearish drop is also going on, and it’s usually a buying opportunity,” Bryce said. “I know there are a lot of problems … in terms of inflation prospects, but you know, markets are already prices are very, very dramatically tightening monetary policy. At some point we will find the bottom.”
Markets in Hong Kong are closed for the holiday today.
The US Dollar Indextracking the dollar’s exchange rate to a basket of its counterparts, was at 103.98 after a recent jump from below 103.2.
Oil prices were higher in the afternoon in Asian trading hours with an international standard Brent oil futures rose 0.12% to $ 112.53 per barrel. US oil futures were above the flat line at $ 109.79 per barrel.
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