Asian Stocks Mostly Down, China Releases Mixed Export and Import Data By

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By Gina Lee – Asian stocks were mostly down on Monday morning, with markets slowly recovering from the biggest two-day slide since June and investors digesting data released by China.

China’s inched down 0.09% by 11:20 PM ET (4:20 AM GMT) and the fell 1.10%. The country released mixed export and import data for August earlier in the day, with up 9.5% year-on-year from July’s 7.2% increase but down 2.1% year-on-year, more than July’s 1.4% fall. The decreased to $58.93 billion, down from the previous month’s $62.33 billion.

Japan’s edged down 0.18%, ahead of a slew of economic data to be released on Tuesday, including figures on household spending, current account and gross domestic product.

Some investors also expected more stimulus measures before the end of the year and expected incumbent prime minister Shinzo Abe’s Abenomics policy to be continued by his replacement.

Hong Kong’s edged up 0.19%, reversing its earlier losses. Police reportedly made 289 arrests in the aftermath of protests that took place in the city on Sunday, the original date of the Legislative Council elections. The elections have been postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.

South Korea’s rose 0.64%

Australia’s inched down 0.02%. Australian biotechnology company CSL Ltd (ASX:) said earlier in the day that it would manufacture COVID-19 vaccine candidate being developed by AstraZeneca (NYSE:) and Oxford University upon the completion of successful trials. The first doses for Australian are expected by early 2021.

CSL will also develop a second vaccine candidate, which it is developing alongside the University of Queensland, with first doses also expected by mid-2021.

But some investors remained cautious over the global recovery from Thursday’s slide.

“Risk assets remain fragile following Thursday’s tech-led rout and volatility spike … with stimulus having been key for supporting equities and such lofty valuations, its renewal will be crucial not only for the recovery, but as a driver for equities as job risks mount,” Medley Global Advisors managing director for global macro strategy Ben Emons told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said a deal between the White House and Congress would finalize details on a spending bill by the end of the week and fund the federal government through the beginning of December, boosting investor hopes that a shutdown

Mnuchin and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have reportedly agreed to extend funding, with the measure set to avert a government shutdown when current funding dried up at the end of the month.

“We’re going to move forward with a clean continuing resolution, hopefully through the beginning of December,” Mnuchin said adding: “I hope by the end of the week we’ll have something firmed up.”

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