Shares were higher in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea on Monday following the release of reassuring manufacturing data for China, though a number of Asian markets are closed for holidays. A monthly purchasing managers survey showed factory activity ticked lower but overall has held steady despite trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.
KEEPING SCORE: The Hang Seng in Hong Kong climbed 1.5 percent to 30,739.04 and South Korea's Kospi added 0.6 percent to 2,507.45. The S&P ASX 200 added 0.4 percent to 5,979.60. Shares also rose in Taiwan and Indonesia. Markets were closed in Japan and mainland China.
WALL STREET: U.S. stocks were mostly higher Friday after a wobbly day of trading. Amazon, Microsoft and Expedia all climbed after reporting earnings. According to FactSet, about 80 percent of the S&P companies that have reported their results have announced a larger per-share profit than analysts expected. The S&P 500 index gained 0.1 percent to 2,669.91. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 11.15 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 24,311.19. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.12 points to 7,119.80. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks lost 1.66 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,556.24. Most of the stocks on the New York Stock Exchange finished higher.
CHINA MANUFACTURING: The official purchasing managers' index for Chinese factory growth eased slightly in April, according to a monthly survey released Monday. It showed activity in the world's No. 2 economy is holding up despite worries over trade tensions with the U.S. The PMI registered 51.4 for April, easing from 51.5 in the previous month but still above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction on the index's 100-point scale.
ANALYST'S VIEWPOINT: "The official manufacturing PMI points to economic conditions having remained healthy in April. But with headwinds from the property sector and slower credit growth building, we don't think this strength will last," Chang Liu of Capital Economics said in a commentary.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude fell lost 27 cents to $67.83 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday it gave up 9 cents to $68.10 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 30 cents to $73.49 per barrel. On Friday it lost 9 cents to $73.79 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar was trading at 109.11 yen, up slightly from 109.05 late Friday. The euro was at $1.2128, down from $1.2131.