Asian equity markets started the week mixed as fresh signs of slowing growth in China weighed on sentiment. Over the weekend, data showed Chinese industrial profits fell in August by 0.6 percent from a year ago, a far cry from last month’s 13.5 percent rise. The figures follow weak data earlier this month -factory output grew at its weakest pace in nearly six years in August, heightening expectations that Beijing’s economy is in need of increased stimulus measures.
Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were also in focus after riot police fired rounds of tear gas on Sunday. Still, demonstrators continued to block roads early Monday, leading schools and banks in areas affected by the blockades to close.
Gains on Wall Street last week helped to cap losses in the region. The Dow and Nasdaq climbed 1 percent each while the S&P 500 bounced 0.9 percent after the government revised its gross domestic product estimate to an annualized 4.6 percent, up from the prior forecast of 4.2 percent.