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Asia-Pacific markets edge higher; China’s industrial profits rise in August


Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded higher on Monday morning, as investors react to Chinese economic data released over the weekend.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 added 0.74% in early trade while the Topix index gained 0.76%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.98%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was above the flatline.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.1% higher.

Shares of Chinese chipmaker SMIC will be watched by investors following reports that the U.S. has imposed restrictions on exports to the firm, citing risks of military use, according to Reuters.

China’s industrial profits rose 19.1% in August, the country’s National Bureau of Statistics announced over the weekend. Chinese economic data has been watched by investors for signs of the country’s continued recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the situation surrounding the pandemic elsewhere could also weigh on investor sentiment. Europe is now facing the prospect of a double-dip recession as it grapples with a coronavirus second wave. Over in the U.S., new daily coronavirus cases topped 1,000 in New York state on Saturday — the first time new infections in the state passed the 1,000 mark since early June.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.54 after rising from levels below 93.0 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.56 per dollar following a weakening last week from levels below 105 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7036 after sliding from levels above $0.72 last week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.26% to $41.81 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.42% to $40.08 per barrel.

— CNBC’s Yun Li contributed to this report.



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