Asian shares barely moved on Monday as investors were unable to shake worries about global growth, U.S. politics and the Sino-U.S. trade war, keeping the safe haven dollar near a six-week top against major currencies.
Chinese stock indexes played catch-up when reopening after a week-long break. Gains came as the commerce ministry said retail earnings during the Lunar New Year holiday jumped 8.5 percent from the period last year, even though growth in the world’s second largest economy is slowing.
China’s blue-chip index surged 1.6 percent while Shanghai’s SSE Composite climbed 1.2 percent.
Australian stocks recouped some losses to end 0.2 percent lower while South Korea’s KOSPI index was up 0.2 percent. Indonesian and Indian benchmarks were in the red.
That left MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were slightly firmer after it was toppled from a four-month top .