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Japanese stocks set for lower start; data shows China’s industrial profits rose

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a lower open on Monday, while data released over the weekend showed Chinese industrial profits grew in the first two months of the year.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,045 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,010. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,149.84.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.21% in morning trade.

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.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 98.852 following a recent climb from below 98.7.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.22 per dollar, weaker than levels below 120 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7514, having risen from below $0.74 last week.

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