Asian shares were mostly lower in on Monday in morning session amid tensions in the Korean Peninsula and better than expected Chinese economic data.

Japan's Nikkei 225 was lower by 0.31% but the Kospi climbed 0.37%. Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand markets are closed for Easter Monday.

In China, Q1 GDP rose 6.9% on year, better than the 6.8% expected. First quarter GDP rose 1.3% quarter-on-quarter. Other Chinese data was similarly upbeat, with March industrial output accelerating 7.6% on year, the fastest pace of growth since December 2014 according to Reuters.

Chinese markets were mostly lower following the data release. The Shanghai Composite was declined by 0.72% while the Shenzhen Composite fell 0.845%.

North Korea tested a missile which "blew up" soon after launch, following a military parade to commemorate the birthday of Kim Il-Sung over the weekend, according to reports. The test came before US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Seoul for a trip that aims to reassure American allies in Asia.

In the US, retail sales fell more than expected in March while annual core inflation slowed to 2.0%, the smallest advance since November 2015, from 2.2% in February, data showed on Friday.

On the energy front, Brent crude fell 0.41% to trade at $55.66 per barrel and US crude fell by the same amount to trade at $52.96. Oil prices had hit a one-month high last Wednesday following news that OPEC could extend output cuts beyond June.

Source link