Asian stock markets declined Monday after Wall Street hit a new high as investors looked ahead to manufacturing indicators from Japan, China and South Korea.

Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul declined. Trading in Hong Kong was suspended due to a weather alert.

On Friday, Wall Street’s S&P 500 index turned in its biggest weekly gain in four months.

Investors have been encouraged by progress in Washington on an infrastructure spending plan. Markets have recovered from the Federal Reserve’s announcement that it might start raising interest rates sooner than expected.

The S&P’s gain “is generally telling of improving sentiment,” said Mizuho Bank in a report.

The Shanghai Composite Index declined less than 0.1% to 3,606.02 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo shed 0.1% to 29,048.02.

The Kospi in Seoul shed 0.2% to 3,296.97 while the ASX-S&P 500 in Sydney slipped less than 0.1% to 7,306.80.

India’s Sensex opened down 0.2% at 52,827.02. New Zealand, Bangkok and Jakarta also declined, while Singapore advanced.

Investors are looking ahead to monthly surveys of manufacturing activity in Japan, China and South Korea.

Production is recovering from last year’s plunge but faces shortages of processor chips and other disruptions.

Markets have swung between optimism about economic recovery supported by the rollout of coronavirus vaccines and unease that the Fed and other central banks might feel pressure to pull back stimulus to cool rising inflation.

Read more..