Asian shares mixed after weak China manufacturing data
HONG KONG—Asian markets were mixed on Monday as another set of weak manufacturing data out of China offset a positive Japanese business confidence survey.
Tokyo rose 1.28 percent, or 175.18 points, to 13,852.50, thanks to a surge in the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan report, which in turn boosted the dollar against the yen as dealers sought higher-risk investments.
Shanghai added 0.81 percent, or 16.04 points, to 1,995.24 despite the disappointing purchasing managers index (PMI) reports on the country’s factory activity.
Sydney, where a number of listed firms rely heavily on Chinese investment, dropped 1.92 percent, or 92.3 points, to 4,710.3. Seoul was 0.41 percent lower, shedding 7.59 points to close at 1,855.73.
Hong Kong and Bangkok were closed for public holidays.
Beijing’s official PMI, a closely watched gauge of manufacturing activity, came in at 50.1 in June, in line with expectations but down from 50.8 in May. Anything above 50 points to growth and anything below indicates contraction.
HSBC also said its own PMI came in at 48.2, down from May’s final reading of 49.2 and its lowest since September.
The figures are the latest sign that the Asian powerhouse is losing strength, which could have implications for other economies that rely on it for their own growth.
They also come after fears of a cash crunch in China’s financial system sent global markets into a tailspin, before the country’s central bank said it would provide any necessary support.
In Tokyo the Tankan survey of business confidence recorded a reading of “plus four,” its highest level since March 2011 and the first time it has been positive since September of that year.
The figure, the first reading since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe launched a huge stimulus program in April to lift the economy, compares with a reading of “minus eight” in the previous quarter.
The survey represents the percentage of firms saying business conditions are good minus those saying they are bad.
In currency trading, the yen slipped against the dollar, continuing a trend from last week after the US Federal Reserve moved to temper fears that it would reel in its bond-buying scheme too early.
The dollar bought 99.61 yen in Asian trade, against 99.11 yen in New York late Friday. The euro was trading at $1.3035 compared with $1.3013 late Friday and at 129.86 yen, from 128.99 yen.
On Wall Street the Dow fell 0.76 percent, while the S&P 500 lost 0.43 percent owing to profit-taking after a three-day rally. But the Nasdaq ended flat.
Oil prices rose. New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate light sweet crude for delivery in August, was up 17 cents at $96.73 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for August up eight cents at $102.24.
Gold rose to $1,238.80 per ounce at 1110 GMT, compared with $1,203.50 late Friday.
In other markets:
— Wellington was 0.50 percent, or 22.12 points, lower at 4,418.05.
— Singapore fell 0.30 percent, or 9.51 points, to 3,140.93.
DBS Bank was down 0.13 percent to Sg$15.48 and Singapore Airlines shed 1.28 percent to Sg$10.01.
— Taipei slipped 0.33 percent, or 26.21 points, to 8,036.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 2.70 percent to Tw$108.0 while smartphone maker HTC lost 3.35 percent to end at Tw$231.0.
— Kuala Lumpur edged up 1.60 points, or 0.09 percent, to 1,775.14.
Hong Leong Bank gained 2.9 percent to 14.30 ringgit while Felda Global Ventures Holdings ended 0.4 percent higher at 4.54. YTL Power International lost 1.3 percent to 1.58 ringgit.
— Jakarta shed 0.86 percent, or 41.44 points, to end at 4,777.45.
Food manufacturer Indofood Sukses Makmur fell 6.80 percent to 6,850 rupiah while cigarette maker Gudang Garam rose 1.38 percent to 51,300 rupiah.
— Manila added 0.95 percent, or 61.34 points, to 6,526.62.
— Mumbai rose 0.94 percent, or 181.58 points, to 19,577.39.
India’s largest passenger car maker maruti Suzuki climbed 4.37 percent to 1,605.25 rupees while telecom service firm Reliance Communications jumped 12.19 percent to 132.5 rupees.—Dow Jones Newswires contributed to this story