mainland China markets closed for Lunar New Year eve

SINGAPORE – Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped Monday morning – the final trading day of January, with markets in mainland China and South Korea closed for the Lunar New Year eve.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan shed 0.61% while the Topix index fell 0.52%.

Over in Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 declined 0.5% in morning trade.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.16% lower.

Regionally, markets in Hong Kong and Singapore are also set to close early on Monday ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays.

China factory activity data

Official data released Sunday showed Chinese factory activity growth slowing in January. The country’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for January was at 50.1, just above the 50 level that separates growth from contraction. January’s reading compared against December’s figure of 50.3.

Meanwhile, a private survey released over the weekend showed Chinese manufacturing activity contracting in January. The Caixin / Markit manufacturing PMI came in at 49.1 for the month.

PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

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The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97,217 after a recent surge from below the 97 level.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.25 per dollar, having weakened last week from below 114.6 against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.6993 after dropping in the previous trading week from above $ 0.714.

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