Official Chinese PMI data released on the weekend showed a contraction but the Caixin PMI out yesterday rose into expansion territory.
Meanwhile China has lodged a complaint against the US at the World Trade Organisation over US import duties, according to wire service reports, increasing trade tensions between the two countries.
Copper fell 1.1% on the London Metal Exchange yesterday and Chile copper miner Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) closed down a similar amount.
The nickel price however has risen further to a five-year high, thanks to Indonesia's nickel ore export ban officially set to start from 2020, earlier than expected.
Western Australia-based nickel miner Western Areas (ASX: WSA) was one of the top risers on the S&P/ASX200 in afternoon trade, up 7.8%.
The precious metals complex remains strong, with gold worth about US$1,524 an ounce on the spot market and silver up slightly to $18.39/oz.
North American markets reopen today after a long weekend.