Asian stock markets were mixed Monday as the weak economic reports from China and Japan increased the concerns over the global growth slowdown.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei fell 0.83 percent or 73.65 points to 8796.51 and India’s BSE Sensex gained 0.13 percent or 24.36 points to 18787.10. Trading in Asia was relatively quiet as markets in China, Hong Kong and South Korea are closed for public holidays.
Sentiment was subdued after the official data showed that Chinese manufacturing activity shrank for the second straight month in September, raising concerns over the growth slowdown in the world's second largest economy.
The data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing showed that the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) gained to 49.8 in September from 49.2 in August, which was the lowest reading since November 2011. However, the index continued to remain in the phase of contraction for the second straight month since the reading is below 50 and is a reflection of the deteriorating export situation, which calls for more aggressive policy easing.
“People still have to downgrade their assumptions for economic growth, and that will probably flow through the next quarter or next half in lower profit assumptions for companies. Given markets are closed in many parts, I think we are probably in for a relatively quiet, but soft start to the week,” Tim Schroeders, who helps manage $1 billion in equities at Pengana Capital Ltd. in Melbourne, told Bloomberg.
Sentiment was also weighed down after the Bank of Japan indicated that the businesses sentiment worsened in the quarter ending September compared to that in the earlier three months. Japanese stocks plunged after the Bank of Japan's Tankan survey showed that business sentiment declined to minus 3 in September from minus 1 in June. The index has been negative for four straight quarters, suggesting that the world’s third largest economy continued to be affected by the weakening of exports following the soft global demand.
Among the stocks, Toyota Motor Corp. declined 1.68 percent and Japan Tobacco Inc. plunged 2.31 percent while Daido Steel Co Ltd. tumbled 5.79 percent.
In India, Tech Mahindra surged 3.98 percent and Syndicated Bank gained 3.51 percent while JSW Steel fell 2.41 percent.