Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index paring last week’s losses, as Japanese markets surged on reopening after a holiday and as investors were unfazed by a drop in Chinese manufacturing activity.
China’s manufacturing industry weakened for a fifth straight month, according to a preliminary measure for March released today, deepening concern the nation will miss its 7.5 percent growth target this year.
China’s weakest start to a year for investment growth since 2001 and unexpectedly slow industrial production add pressure for economic stimulus, just as Premier Li Keqiang signals he wants to avoid such a move.
Iron ore extended its decline into a bear market on concern that demand in China may slow as credit tightens in the largest buyer, exacerbating the impact of rising global supplies that are seen spurring a surplus.
China’s property trusts, grappling with repayments equivalent to the size of Puerto Rico’s economy, face rising default risks as a former central bank adviser dubs real estate the biggest threat to the economy.