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Asian markets mixed by Friday's US NFP and China's data

Asian equity indexes priced in Friday’s strong US non-farm payrolls, while having to count with ‘weaker than expected’ Chinese data released over the weekend. In Japan, machinery orders fell -13% in January, much worse than consensus of -1.7% and escalating diplomatic tension with North Korea wasn't enough to bring the South Korean index down.

China's CPI inflation (+3.2% y/y from +2.0%), retail sales (+14.3% y/y, from 12.3%), industrial production (+9.9% y/y, from +10%), and fixed investment (+21.2% y/y from +20.6%) came in ‘weaker than expected’, “However, note that the main indicators were issued in “through the year” terms in an attempt to smooth over the impact of the Chinese new year holiday; we believe it is premature to conclude that China is “slowing” and would wait till the March suite of data to shape more informed views”, wrote TD Securities analyst Alvin Pontoh.

Mainland China's Shanghai Composite (-0.37%), South Korea's Kospi (-0.13%) and Indonesia's Jakarta Composite (-0.18%) eased on Monday, while Japan's Nikkei Stock Average (+0.56%) and Hong Kong's Hang Seng (+0.16%) edged higher.

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