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Japan’s Nikkei 225 slips, Chinese economic data released

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SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific stocks slipped in Monday morning trade as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data for July.

Retail sales in China rose 8.5% in July as compared with a year ago, according to official data released Monday. That was far lower than the 11.5% rise forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile, industrial production grew 6.4% in July, also falling short of expectations for a 7.8% year-on-year increase for the month, according to the Reuters poll.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite rising 0.34% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.206%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 0.2%.

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In Japan, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.83% in morning trade, with shares of robot maker Fanuc plunging about 4%. The Topix index shed 1.69%.

Japan’s GDP rose 0.3% in the second quarter as compared with the previous three months, when it contracted 0.9%, according to official preliminary estimates released Monday. The April-June data print beat market forecasts for a 0.2% increase, according to Reuters.

Shares in Australia also dipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 0.42% lower.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index in Malaysia slipped 0.53%, following local media reports that the country’s prime minister is set to resign on Monday.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.31% lower.

South Korea’s markets are closed on Monday for a holiday.

Oil falls more than 1%

Oil prices slipped in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures 1.18% lower at $69.76 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 1.2% to $67.62 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.514 following a recent decline from around the 93 level.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.35 per dollar, following a strengthening late last week from above 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7351 as compared with an earlier high of $0.7373.

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