Asian shares expected to focus on China data, dollar languishes

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Asian shares expected to focus on China data, dollar languishes

July retail sales also missed forecasts, rising 7.2 percent, lower than the 7.6 percent analysts expected.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.51%, with the broader index driven by gains in the information technology and energy sub-indexes.

Many Japanese traders stayed away from the market for Japan's traditional "obon" holiday. China's factory output in July grew 6.4% from a year earlier, short of the 7.2% forecast, while fixed-asset investment expanded 8.3% in the first seven months against expectations for growth of 8.6%.

The dollar, meanwhile, stood at 109.33 yen, edging up from 109.11 yen in NY on Friday, but still sharply lower than 109.99 yen seen Thursday in Tokyo before the long weekend. Despite some pretty dire trade data last week, the Pound has managed to hold on to $1.30 levels in defiance, but there's only so much of a beating the Pound can take and, if we do see another string of weak numbers this week, that should cool even the ever optimist. The dollar index stood at 93.088 at 8:02 a.m. HK/SIN.

Okasan Online Securities added that recent falls in global market may have also been fuelled by short-term speculators using tensions over North Korea as a cover to drive down share prices.

Instead they were keeping watch on North Korea and the U.S. for further clues in their standoff over Pyongyang's threat to launch missiles towards the western Pacific island of Guam, a USA territory. National Australia Bank was up 1.19%, but AMP off by 0.49%. CBA has recently been dogged by allegations that it potentially ignored breaches in money-laundering regulations in Australia. The company attributed the fall in profit to increasing raw material prices and acquisition charges.

Oil prices made gains on Friday as markets digested a mix of slowing USA oil rig additions and instability in Nigeria after protesters occupied a Royal Dutch Shell plant, Reuters reported. Brent crude was off 0.06 percent at United States dollars 52.07 a barrel and USA crude rose 0.02 percent to trade at USD 48.83.

For now, the Dollar will find support, more because of current levels than any particular shift in sentiment towards the U.S economy and the outlook on FED monetary policy, with the Euro in the hands of today's production figures, which should provide added support to the Dollar Spot Index through the early part of the European session.

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