Mainland China stocks slipped early in trading, with the Shanghai composite losing around 0.5% while the Shenzhen component edging down. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.47%.
China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index for the month of May stood at 51.0. This compares to analysts’ expectations for a reading of 51.1 in a Reuters poll. May’s figure was also a slight decline from the previous month’s reading of 51.1.
PMI readings above 50 represent expansion while those below this level signify contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-to-month expansion or contraction.
Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.71% while the Topix index lost 0.56%.
Japan’s retail sales rose 12% in April from a year earlier, according to government data released on Monday. That was against a median market forecast for a 15.3% rise, according to Reuters.
South Korea’s Kospi edged down 0.14%. In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 has changed little.
The MSCI’s largest Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan traded up around 0.1%.
Malaysian markets fall
The Malaysian ringgit weakened to 4.141 per dollar, from levels below 4.135 against the greenback seen late last week.
Markets in the United States are closed on Mondays for a statutory holiday.
Currencies and oil
The Japanese yen was trading at 109.68 to the dollar, after weakening late last week to levels above 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7717, below levels above $ 0.776 seen last week.
Oil prices were higher on the morning of trading hours in Asia, as international benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.29% to $ 68.92 a barrel. US crude futures also gained 0.44% to $ 66.61 per barrel.