Asia Pacific shares were broadly higher in Monday afternoon trade. Then, it was with Japanese stocks leading gains as investors watch the country’s political developments.
Mainland Chinese stocks were higher in the morning, with the Shanghai composite increased by 0.8%. Meanwhile, The Shenzhen portion increased by 0.619%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong jumped 1.36 percent.
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 suggest expansion while the ones below that mark reflect contraction. The readings are sequential and display an expansion or contraction on a month.
Investors have looked at Chinese economic data and Asia Pacific shares for information about the status of the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Nikkei 225 rose 1.74 percent in Japan, while the Topix index advanced 1.51 percent, following losses on Friday as long-time Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a sudden resignation on Friday due to health reasons.
Investors continued to watch developments in Japanese politics on Monday, as the hunt for the country’s next prime minister continues.
The Japanese yen traded at 105.52 per dollar, after strengthening sharply from levels above 106.5 against the greenback late last week.
Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.39% higher.
Japanese Trading Firm Stocks Jump
Incorporate developments, shares of Japanese trading firms Mitsubishi Corp., Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsui & Co., and Sumitomo Corp. soared in Monday afternoon trade after Warren Buffett announced that his firm Berkshire Hathaway has acquired a slightly more than 5% stake in the companies.
Shares of Mitsubishi jumped 8.23% while Itochu gained 5.6%. Marubeni soared 11.14% and Mitsui gained 7.63%, Sumitomo rose 10.56%.