Asian shares firmed on Monday as demand for tech stocks buoyed Japan’s market, while a data-packed week promises to be pivotal to the outlook for the Chinese economy and U.S. interest rates.
China’s factory activity slowed in June as the Caixin manufacturing survey showed a dip to 50.5, from 50.9 in May. That slightly beat market forecasts of 50.2, but still underlining the weakening trend seen in other surveys.
China’s central bank has promised more “forceful” action to support the economy and looks likely to soon get a new boss. Something major is needed given Chinese blue chips (.CSI300) shed 5% last quarter while much of the developed world rallied.
“As Japan found in the 1990s, it’s hard work stimulating an economy experiencing a significant property slump against a backdrop of high sector debt and a falling population,” cautioned analysts at ANZ in a note.
In contrast, hopes Japanese firms will fill any gaps created by Sino-U.S. decoupling combined with a weak yen to lift the Nikkei (.N225) almost 20% last quarter. The index was up another 1.5% on Monday and within a hair’s breadth of recent peaks.