China economic data, Covid, inflation

SINGAPORE — Shares in the Asia Pacific rose on Monday as investors watched for a slew of Chinese economic data.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.54%, while the Topix advanced 0.93% in early trading.

The Kospi in South Korea rose 0.46%, and the Kosdaq was 1.43% higher.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.73%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.33%

Stock indexes in Asia and around the world were volatile last week over inflation concerns. Tech stocks and cryptocurrencies were hit hard, though bitcoin has since pared some losses. U.S. stocks rebounded on Friday, but still posted losses for the week.

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China will report data on April’s industrial production, retail sales, fixed asset investment and unemployment on Monday — investors are looking to those numbers for clues on the impact of the country’s zero-Covid policy on the economy.

“While Shanghai provided some positivity for markets, it is not clear when China will pivot to living with Covid,” Tapas Strickland, director of economics at National Australia Bank, said in a note. NAB expects economic data for April to slow sharply.

Shanghai authorities said on Sunday that some businesses will begin to resume in-store operations, Reuters reported.

Markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand are closed for a holiday on Monday.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 104.553, slightly higher than last week’s levels.

The Japanese yen traded at 129.45 per dollar, still stronger than the 130 levels seen last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.6943.

Oil futures rose early in Asia trade. U.S. crude futures climbed 0.23% to $110.74 per barrel, while international benchmark Brent crude futures were up 0.8% at $111.77 per barrel.