While most Asian stock markets traded mixed on 1 August (Monday), the Shanghai Composite was down 0.82% at 2,954.92 as of 6.15am GMT amid poor US economic growth data which means reduced chances of an increase in interest rates by the US Federal Reserve. US gross domestic product grew just 1.2% on-year in the second quarter ended June, much lower than the 2.6% growth expected by economists.
Amid the poor growth, Fed Funds futures data shows that the odds of the American central bank increasing interest rates in September have now declined to 12% from 18%, according to a news report. "Investors have been shifting money to Asia, which is likely to be least affected by Brexit and as the US Fed appears to be in no hurry to raise interest rates," Yukino Yamada, senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Asian indices, barring the Shanghai Composite, showed limited reaction to a Chinese official survey that suggested a decline in factory activity in July. However, a private gauge of China's manufacturing sector showed that Chinese factory activity expanded for the first time since February 2015 in July. The Caixin and Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.6 for the just concluded month from 48.6 in June.
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 1 August at 6.35am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||22,217.42||UP||1.49%|
Last week (29 July), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 18,432.24, down 0.13%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,724.43, up 0.05%.
Among commodities, oil prices which recently touched three-month lows, recovered some ground. While WTI crude oil was trading higher by 0.29% at $41.72 (£31.50; €37.36) a barrel, Brent crude was trading 0.46% higher at $43.73 a barrel as of 6.42am GMT.