Nikkei 225 kicks off August with a gain of nearly 2%

The Asia-Pacific stock market started August with mixed movements in the morning session of August 2.

The Nikkei 225 index rose nearly 2% in morning trading on August 2. Photo: AFP

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.68% to 27,742.28 points in the morning session of August 2, while the Topix index gained more strongly with 1.74%. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi index only edged up 0.1%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose significantly this morning with 1.4%. Shares of financial technology company Afterpay this morning caught attention in the Australian session with a spike of more than 24% after the US partner – Square – announced that this business had agreed to buy Afterpay immediately, but pay later.

The Hong Kong stock market welcomed “red” at the beginning of the month with the Hang Seng index down 0.43%. Shares of Chinese electric car company Xpeng listed in Hong Kong this morning rose more than 9% after the company announced that the number of vehicles delivered in July reached a record of more than 8,000 units.

Similarly, mainland China’s stock market was also “red on the floor” this morning, with the Shanghai Composite index down 0.71% and the Shenzhen Component index down 0.227%.

According to the results of a private survey published this morning by Caixin/Markit, China’s manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) in July fell to 50.3, much lower than 51. ,1 was predicted by experts in a recent Reuters poll. In June, China’s manufacturing PMI reached 51.3, according to the Caixin/Markit survey.

The above results reinforce the view that the growth rate of the factory sector in China has slowed down. Result published last week also indicated that,China’s official manufacturing PMI slowed down in July to 50.4, lower than the 50.9 recorded in June.

PMI index above 50 points shows that the industry/sector has grown in the survey period.

In general, the MSCI Asia-Pacific index (excluding Japan) this morning dropped slightly by 0.09%.

The complicated situation of the Covid-19 epidemic in Asia is negatively affecting investor sentiment. According to Kyodo News, many areas in Japan today has been placed in a state of emergency over the Covid-19 epidemic due to a sudden increase in the number of infections.

Meanwhile, Chinese state media reported that governments at all levels in the country had activated Covid-19 containment measures after discovering a new outbreak in the city of Nanjing – where employees were discovered. The airport contracted Covid-19 after cleaning the cabin of a plane from Russia.

Oil prices traded by Asian hours this morning fell. Brent crude oil futures delivery fell 1.45% and traded at $74.32 per barrel, while US crude oil futures fell 1.27% to $73.01 per barrel.

In the currency markets, the US dollar index against other major currencies continued to fall to 92.188, following a recent drop to 92.4. The Japanese yen this morning inched up and converted to 109.72 JPY “eating” 1 USD, compared to the level above 110 JPY/USD commonly seen last week. On the contrary, the Australian dollar weakened to 1 AUD for 0.7335 USD, from 1 AUD/0.738 USD recorded at the end of last week.