While Asian stock market indices were trading in a mixed pattern on 1 June, the Shanghai Composite Index was up 0.06% at 2,918.50 as of 5.55am GMT. This came amid Chinese manufacturing activity data meeting expectations. It also followed crude prices slipping from its eight-month high, while Australia reported a better-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP).
The private Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI), a survey which shows the activity at China's factories, came in at 49.2 for May, marking a 15th straight monthly decline. However, the official index by the Chinese Federation of Logistics & Purchasing based on a survey of factory purchasing managers, came in at 50.1 for May. While a number above 50 indicates expansion, a number below 50 indicates contraction in activity.
David Dai, Shanghai-based investor director at Nanhai Fund Management Co said, "The economy is still weak, and the Fed will likely raise rates soon. I don't think the market will go up much further. The best strategy now is to take profit."
Meanwhile, Australia's GDP increased 3.1% on-year in the first quarter. This was better than expectations, as a Reuters poll had forecast a 2.8% increase.
Indices in rest of Asia traded as follows on 1 June at 6.13am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,803.87||Down||0.05%|
Overnight (31 May), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,787.20, down 0.48%, while the FTSE 100 closed at 6,230.79, down 0.64%.
Among commodities, oil prices which were at an eight-month high recently, were trading in the red ahead of the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), which is scheduled on 2 June. While the meeting is to discuss production cuts, most analysts said they did not expect this to happen.
Yoshimasa Maruyama, chief market economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo said, "The political will of the OPEC countries to enact a production freeze is clearly waning. A production freeze is unlikely to come up as an agenda at the June meeting." On 1 June, WTI crude oil was trading 0.90% lower at $48.66 (£33.58, €43.74) a barrel, while Brent was trading 1% lower at $49.39 a barrel at 6.29am GMT.