Imports fell 0.7 per cent, compared with the previous month’s 0.3 per cent expansion.
Economists have been forecasting that the world’s second-largest economy’s trade will slow as global demand cools following interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and other central banks to rein in surging inflation.
Speculation about a possible relaxation of China’s zero-Covid strategy has had a huge impact on markets. On Monday, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 2.7 per cent to 16,595.91 and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.2 per cent to 3,077.85.
There has been no official confirmation in China of a major change.
“Over the weekend, Beijing has dashed hopes of China re-opening in the horizon, by reasserting of zero-Covid policies. And this could induce fresh caution,” Tan Boon Heng at Mizuho Bank in Singapore said in a report.
In the US, Tuesday’s election will decide control of Congress and key governorships. History suggests the party in power may suffer significant losses in the mid-terms, and decades-high inflation has become a significant issue for the Democrats.
Analysts say regional markets may take a wait-and-see approach ahead of the US mid-term vote.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 jumped 1.2 per cent to finish at 27,527.64. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 per cent to 6,933.70. South Korea’s Kospi gained nearly 1.0 per cent to 2,371.79.
Shares rose in Taiwan and but edged lower in India.