Asia trades mixed as investor confidence temper slightly despite better-than-expected China data – CNBC

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The Japan Exchange Group logo is displayed on a glass door at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo, Japan.

Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The Japan Exchange Group logo is displayed on a glass door at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in Tokyo, Japan.

Asia Pacific markets were mixed Monday afternoon, as investor confidence tempered midway, after Friday’s stronger-than-expected China data had improved risk sentiment.

Nikkei 225 rose 1.37 percent to 22,169.11. The Topix index was up 1.4 percent at 1,627.93.

South Korea’s Kospi retraced some of its morning gains to finish up 0.42 percent at 2,242.88. Shares of Asiana Airlines and its affiliates soared. Asiana Airlines shares were up 30 percent. Affiliates Air Busan and Asiana IDT rose 29.94 percent and 29.78 percent, respectively.

The top shareholder of Asiana Airlines, Kumho Industrial, said on Monday it would sell its entire stake in the debt-ridden carrier to keep it afloat, Reuters reported. That followed weeks of financial uncertainty after the carrier failed to win auditors’ sign-off on its 2018 financial statements, which triggered warnings of credit ratings downgrades, according to the Reuters report.

In China, shares reversed gains: The Shanghai composite fell 0.34 percent to 3,177.79 while the Shenzhen composite lost 0.84 percent to 1,723.9. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also gave up gains to trade near flat in late-afternoon trade.

Shares in Australia were muted as the benchmark ASX 200 index closed flat. Most sectors were lower while the energy subindex added 0.54 percent and the heavily weighted financial sector rose 0.39 percent.

“Stronger than expected China trade and credit data triggered a risk on move on Friday,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign-exchange strategist at the National Australia Bank, wrote in a morning note.

Customs data showed China’s March exports were higher than expected: Dollar-denominated exports rose 14.2 percent on-year, topping prediction of a 7.3 percent gain, according to a Reuters poll. Still, imports fell short of expectations, indicating domestic demand in the world’s second-largest economy remained weak.

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