Seung-il Ryu | NurPhoto | Getty images
Shanghai composite gained 1.26 percent while the Shenzhen composite was up 2.98 percent.
The on-shore yuan was flat at 6.7209 against the dollar, retreating from an earlier high of 6.7244. The People’s Bank of China is expected to ease monetary policy further to encourage lending as it seeks to support the country’s slowing economy. Its head, Governor Yi Gang, reportedly said on Sunday the central bank will not use the exchange rate to boost its exports or as a tool in trade frictions.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 see-sawed between gains and losses to finish up 0.47 percent at 21,125.09 while the Topix index added 0.57 percent to 1,581.44.
Nissan shares advanced 1.11 percent as the company’s former boss, Carlos Ghosn, is reportedly seeking permission from the Tokyo District Court to attend the automaker’s board meeting on Tuesday, Reuters said, citing a source.
Ghosn, the former Nissan chairman, was released from a detention center in Tokyo last week on $9 million in bail after being detained for more than 100 days on financial misconduct charges. He has called those charges “meritless.”
In South Korea, the Kospi traded near flat while major indexes in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia fell in afternoon trade. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded up 0.76 percent. Indian stocks rose after the country on Sunday announced it will hold parliamentary election in seven stages starting April 11. The Nifty 50 was up 1.02 percent while the Indian rupee traded around 69.95 to the dollar, strengthening from levels above 70.40 last week.
The ASX 200 in Australia fell 0.38 percent to 6,180.20 as most sectors declined. The energy sector was down 1.55 percent as oil stocks retreated: Shares of Santos were down 2.16 percent, Oil Search lower by 1.99 percent and Woodside Petroleum declined 1.73 percent.
Oil prices were under pressure on Friday following data that showed U.S. job gains came to a grinding halt in February while Chinese imports and exports last month slumped. The European Central Bank also slashed its growth outlook for the euro zone.
Monday’s session followed after the U.S. and China missed expectations on crucial data last Friday, prompting further worries over a global economic slowdown.
Government data in the U.S. showed the world’s largest economy added just 20,000 jobs in February versus an expected gain of 180,000, marking the weakest month of jobs creation since September 2017.
“The data is prone to large revisions, and other labour market indicators remain strong,” analysts at ANZ Research said in a morning note. “Nonetheless, it is plausible that the more mixed US data in recent months could be starting to flow through into labour demand.”
Meanwhile, Chinese customs data showed exports fell 20.7 percent on-year last month, missing economists’ expectations of a 4.8 percent decline. Imports dropped 5.2 percent, more than the 1.4 percent predicted fall.
The U.S. dollar traded at 97.364 against a basket of its peers at 2:38 p.m. HK/SIN on Monday, climbing from levels below 97.000 in the previous week.