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Asia Markets Mixed as Investors Further Digest China’s Modest Growth Target

Stocks in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Monday as investors further digested China’s growth target set in its parliamentary sessions and looked ahead to a week of economic data.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.62% to end its session at 7,328.6 ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision Tuesday, with economists surveyed by Reuters expecting to see a 25 basis point hike in its cash rate.

The Nikkei 225 rose 1.11% to close at 28,237.78 and the Topix climbed 0.84% to 2,036.49. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 1.2% to 2,462.62 as the nation’s inflation showed further easing in February.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.19% to 3,322.03 and the Shenzhen Component inched 0.1% lower to 11,842.88 after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang released the nation’s government work report on Sunday. The Hang Seng index struggled for direction and last rose 0.2% in its final hour of trade.

.N225Nikkei 225 Index*NIKKEI28237.78310.311.11
.HSIHang Seng Index*HSI20603.1935.650.17
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200*ASX 2007328.6450.62
.KS11KOSPI Index*KOSPI2462.6230.551.2
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDX*CNBC 1008250.554.430.66

The U.S. non-farm payroll will be a key focus this week with expectations to see cooled hiring, prompting the Federal Reserve to maintain a smaller rate hike pace.

Stocks on Wall Street ended the week higher as Treasury yields eased from their recent highs and investors weighed the cumulative impact from Fed hikes already implemented and digested this week’s comments from the central bank.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.17%, the S&P 500 climbed 1.61%, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.97%. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury note dipped below the 4% threshold.

Source : CNBC