SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific largely declined on Monday, as oil prices declined around 3%.
Data released over the weekend showed Chinese industrial profits grew in the first two months of the year. Profits at China’s industrial firms rose 5.0% for the January to February period as compared with a year earlier, according to data released Sunday.
Investors have been watching for clues on policy easing from Chinese authorities amid concerns over the outlook for the economic powerhouse as it grapples with issues such as its worst Covid outbreak since the initial height of the pandemic in early 2020.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific outside Japan traded 0.69% lower.
China tech watch
Investors monitored shares of Meituan and other Chinese tech stocks in Hong Kong.
In Monday morning trade, shares of Meituan soared more than 5% while Tencent climbed 0.79%.
Meituan on Friday posted better-than-expected revenue for the last three months of 2021. The company’s revenue for the fourth quarter came in at 49.52 billion yuan ($7.78 billion), above mean analyst expectations for a 49.2 billion yuan print, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon.
“Even if you look now, where we see very significant and sharp falls so that valuations now are at much more reasonable levels, I think it’s still quite difficult for investors … to really build the courage to go back in at these levels,” Mark Konyn, group chief investment officer at AIA, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia” on Monday.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 99.062 following a recent climb from below 98.7.