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Taiwan’s Taiex drops more than 3%; Asia-Pacific mixed as investors react to China economic data

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data while also monitoring the Covid situation in places such as Taiwan, which has seen a recent spike in domestic infections.

The Taiex in Taiwan fell more than 3% as it led losses among the region’s major markets.

Elsewhere, mainland Chinese stocks were higher, with the Shanghai composite up about 1% while the Shenzhen component surged 2.189%.

The moves came following the release of a slew of Chinese economic data. China’s industrial output rose 9.8% year-on-year in April, according to data released Monday by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That figure was in line with expectations from a Reuters poll.

Official data also showed retail sales in China jumping 17.7% year-on-year in April. That, however, fell short of expectations in a Reuters poll for a 24.9% increase.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dipped 1.27% in afternoon trade while the Topix index shed 0.39%. South Korea’s Kospi edged 0.79% lower.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.31%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.11% lower.

Meanwhile, investors also monitored the price of bitcoin after Tesla CEO Elon Musk implied in a Twitter exchange Sunday that the electric vehicle maker sold or may sell the rest of its holdings in the cryptocurrency.

The price of bitcoin was at $42,722.18, as of 12:22 a.m. ET Monday, according to data from Coin Metrics.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.397 after a recent decline from above 90.8.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.36 per dollar, having weakened last week from levels below 109 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.775, following last week’s decline from levels above $0.78.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up around 0.1% to $68.76 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 0.12% to $65.45 per barrel.

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