Stock market today: Asian shares mostly lower as China reports factory output slowed

In Asia, stock markets showed a mixed performance on Monday as China’s factory output slowed down in May, indicating continued weakness in the property market. U.S. futures and oil prices also experienced a slight decline.

Tokyo’s shares dropped by 1.9% to 38,070.40, while the Kospi in Seoul declined by 0.5% to 2,744.63. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gave up 0.2% to 7,712.90.

On the other hand, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose by 0.1% to 17,960.09. However, the Shanghai Composite index shed 0.6% to 3,015.95.

According to the Chinese government, factory output in May fell by 5.6%, which was below analysts’ expectations and a slowdown from the 6.7% growth seen in the previous month. Retail sales also increased by a modest 4.1% in the first five months of the year.

In addition to these lackluster numbers, property investments in China fell by 10% in May compared to the previous year, and home prices in major cities dropped by 3.2%.

Furthermore, property sales plummeted by 30.5% year-on-year, indicating that the measures implemented to revive the struggling property sector have yet to yield positive results.
Most markets in Southeast Asia were closed due to holidays, resulting in Thailand’s SET losing 1.2% in trading activity.

On Friday, U.S. stocks remained near their record levels, with the S&P 500 experiencing a slight decline of less than 0.1% to close at 5,431.60. This marked the first time last week that the index did not reach a new all-time high.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average also dipped 0.1% to finish at 38,589.16, while the Nasdaq composite managed to gain 0.1% and set a new record at 17,688.88. This was driven by the strong performance of technology stocks.

In Europe, stock markets faced a decline following recent elections that have raised uncertainties about the future of the region.

The success of far-right parties in these elections has put pressure on France’s president, leading to concerns among investors about potential weakening of the European Union, potential delays in fiscal plans, and the negative impact on France’s debt repayment abilities. These recent elections have also shaken markets in Mexico, India, and other countries.

Specifically, France’s CAC 40 experienced a significant decline of 2.7%, resulting in a weekly loss of 6.2%, the worst in over two years. Germany’s DAX also lost 1.4% during this period.
The U.S. stock market is reaching new highs amid growing optimism that inflation is slowing down, potentially leading the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates later this year. Notably, technology stocks continue to surge forward, seemingly unaffected by economic conditions and interest rate fluctuations.

Adobe experienced a significant boost of 14.5% in its stock price after reporting stronger profits for the latest quarter, surpassing analysts’ expectations. Similarly, Broadcom saw a 3.3% increase in its stock price for the second consecutive day, following better-than-expected profits and the announcement of a 10-for-one stock split to enhance affordability. Nvidia, renowned for its advancements in artificial intelligence technology, witnessed a 1.8% gain, propelling its market value to surpass $3 trillion.

However, a preliminary report from the University of Michigan indicated that U.S. consumer sentiment failed to improve this month, contrary to economists’ forecasts.
The housing market has been negatively impacted by the high mortgage rates, which have been maintained by the Federal Reserve at the highest level in over twenty years. The central bank is deliberately slowing down the economy by implementing these high rates, with the goal of curbing high inflation.

In early Monday’s trading, U.S. benchmark crude oil saw a decrease of 30 cents, reaching $77.75 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Meanwhile, Brent crude, the international standard, also fell 30 cents to $82.32 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar experienced a slight increase, rising to 157.52 Japanese yen from 157.39 yen. On the other hand, the euro slightly declined to $1.0704 from $1.0705.