Asian stocks were mostly lower on Monday, as investors cautiously watched the European leaders’ summit discussing the pandemic crisis and US coronavirus cases continued to rise. Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, + 0.09%, fell 0.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI, -0.40% rose 0.1%. Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, + 3.11% rose 2.6%, while Shenzhen Small-cap Composite 399106, + 2.67% rose 1.8%. The EU met on the fourth day of talks without reaching an agreement on an unprecedented EU budget of 1.85 trillion euros ($ 2.1 trillion) and a coronavirus recovery fund to tackle the crisis.
Japanese exports fell more than 20% for the third straight month, even as key markets began to reopen after the spread of the virus has stopped. The Treasury Department said Monday that total Japan’s overseas shipments fell 26.2% in June from a year earlier, driven by a sharp decline in auto and auto parts exports, as reported MarketWatch. Economists are forecasting a 24.7% fall. Auto exports were cut in half in June, compared with a fall of about two-thirds in May. The overall drop in exports to the US and the EU was about 4-5 percentage points less than in the previous month. Improving shipments to China helped prevent the decline in Japan’s exports from getting worse.