Asia Pacific stocks were in the green on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up more than 1% after the release of the country’s PMI data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, as well as mainland Chinese stocks, edged higher. Australia’s ASX 200 index was also up after the release of its PMI data.
Australia’s Economic Data
Data published by Markit earlier on Monday indicates that business activity in Australia fell for the second consecutive month in August. Analysts have linked the decline in demand and output to the increase in covid-19 infections underpinned by the Delta variant. The lockdowns across various Australian states in August also dragged the economy.
The IHS Markit Flash Australia Composite Output Index slipped from 45.2 in July to 43.5 in August, hitting a 15-month low. New orders, both domestic and foreign continued to decline from the previous month, albeit at a marginally slower rate.
As such, both output and outstanding work declined in August. Manufacturing sector output fell for the first time since 2020. Private sector firms cut down on their staffing levels for the first time since October 2020.
The IHS Markit Flash Services Business Activity Index fell to 43.3 in August, down from 44.2 in July. The Manufacturing PMI came in at 51.7 in August, down from 56.9 in July. Price pressures eased in August as both input costs and output charges continued to increase.
ASX 200 Performers
Pilbara Minerals was among the best performers in the ASX 200 index. The Lithium mining company gained more than 7.90%. While there are no immediate catalysts to the company’s gains, a rise in commodity prices may have pushed Pilbara’s stock price higher.
Nearmap Limited gained more than 7.80% in its stock earnings. The Australian aerial imagery technology and location data company recently announced the expansion of its US coverage program to about 80% of its population.
Appen Limited was up by 6.51% earlier on Monday. The machine intelligence company is expected to release its half-year earnings on August 26, 2021.
On the flip side, NIB Holdings Limited led the laggards in the ASX 200 index. The insurance company fell more than 10.50% despite reporting an annual net profit of A$161.1 million.
G8 Education is a child daycare services company. The company was down 7.14% despite a surge in its profits. its revenue for the first half of the year 2021, jumped 36.8%.