The ASX was down 8.1pts, or .1 per cent, at 5960.3pts on Monday. Australian shares made gains in the early hours of trading before retreating after China released its export data. Chinese exports have fallen 14.6 per cent, significantly below forecasts. The World Bank recently released a report stating that a Chinese slowdown would invariably hit the Australian economy as well. The Metals and Mining sector took the largest dip, falling 1.84 per cent. The Information Technology sector was also down, falling .91 per cent. Part of the ASX downturn was mitigated by gains in the Telecommunication Services, Energy and Health Care sectors.
International markets were mostly up at the end of last week. The Dow Jones was up .55 per cent while the S&P 500 was up .52 per cent. The DAX made strong gains on Friday, up 1.71 per cent. The FTSE 100 was up 1.06 per cent. Chinese markets continue to climb. The Hang Seng is up 1.21 per cent so far on Friday. The Shanghai Composite has extended its rally, rising 1.64 per cent so far on Friday.
Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB) was up 78c, or 24.3 per cent, at $3.99 per share. The company recently came to an agreement to allow Celgene to purchase a 4.7 per cent stake in the company at a 19 per cent share price premium.
M2 Group (ASX:MTU) was up $1.12, or 10.74 per cent, at $11.55 per share. M2 recently announced that it would be acquiring the New Zealand based CallPlus Group and 2Talk.
Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN) was down 77c, or 11.05 per cent, $6.20 per share. Mineral Resources said it was under pressure after Atlas Iron shutdown operations in Pilbara.
BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) was down 71c, or 2.36 per cent, at $29.43 per share. The World Bank recently announced that both falling iron ore prices and a Chinese economic slowdown would depress Australian mining companies even further.
Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) was down $1.59, or 2.80 per cent, at $55.30 per share.