Looking Ahead in Asia

China should remain the key focus for markets this week, with the release of key manufacturing activity data.  The closely-watched reports come on the heels of a roller-coaster ride in the benchmark Shanghai Composite.

Last Thursday, mainland shares dived 6.5 percent, posting its biggest one-day loss since January 19, after news that more brokerages are tightening margin lending rules sparked concerns over the retail investor-driven rally. Investors also took profit ahead of this week’s tranche of new share-listings.  On Friday, the Shanghai bourse ended an erratic session 0.15 percent lower.

Monday will bring separate readings of China’s May factory activity from the government and HSBC.  Due at 0900 SIN/HK, China’s official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) is expected to come in at 50.2, a tick up from April’s 50.1 and above the 50-mark that demarcates expansion in the manufacturing sector from contraction.