Asia shares mixed after upbeat China manufacturing data
HONG KONG–Asian shares were mixed Monday, with positive Chinese manufacturing figures boosting morning markets until profit-taking sent Hong Kong and Shanghai into the red in the afternoon.
The early purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from banking giant HSBC added to an upbeat morning for the region, which was already in positive territory after another record close on Wall Street.
Tokyo extended a recent uptrend, adding 0.13 percent, or 19.86 points, to end at 15,369.28. Sydney gained 0.62 percent, or 33.8 points, to 5,453.3 and Seoul rose 0.35 percent, or 6.85 points, to 1,974.92.
However, Hong Kong tumbled 1.68 percent, or 389.25 points, to 22,804.81 and Shanghai closed down 0.11 percent, or 2.31 points, at 2,024.37 as dealers took their cash off the table following initial advances.
HSBC said early results showed its PMI of Chinese manufacturing came in at 50.8 this month, up from a final reading of 49.4 in May.
Anything above 50 indicates growth and anything below suggests contraction.
The latest figure is the first time the reading has come in above 50 since December’s 50.5, and will raise hopes that a slowdown in the world’s second-biggest economy has bottomed out.
It also follows a recent spate of data indicating a pick-up in the Asian economic giant after the government introduced some measures to kickstart growth.
“This month’s improvement is consistent with data suggesting that the authorities’ mini-stimulus is filtering through to the real economy,” HSBC said. “We expect policymakers to continue their current path of accommodative policy stance until the recovery is sustained.”
The week began on a bright note after US shares Friday hit new records. The Dow rose 0.15 percent and the S&P 500 added 0.17 percent, both ending at new highs, while the Nasdaq climbed 0.20 percent.
Iraq keeps oil elevated
On currency markets the dollar gave up morning gains against the yen.
In Tokyo trade, the greenback fetched 101.88 yen compared with 102.06 yen in New York Friday afternoon.
The euro bought $1.3587 and 138.45 yen against $1.3597 and 138.79 yen
The ongoing unrest in Iraq put further upward pressure on oil prices. Sunni militants advanced in western Iraq and killed 21 people after security forces left several towns, while America’s top diplomat called Sunday for the country’s leaders to rise above sectarianism.
It was the latest in a series of setbacks for Iraqi forces, which are struggling in the face of an insurgent onslaught that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and sparked fears of a civil war.
The militants seized the towns of Rawa and Ana after taking the Al-Qaim border crossing on Saturday, residents said.
On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up 38 cents at $107.21 and Brent crude gained 49 cents to $115.30.
Gold fetched $1,310.60 an ounce at 1106 GMT in Asia compared with $1,309.77 late Friday.
In other markets:
— Kuala Lumpur ended flat, down just 0.09 percent, or 1.76 points, at 1,883.96.
Lafarge Malaysia shed 1.7 percent to 9.87 ringgit, while budget carrier AirAsia lost 2.6 percent to 2.24. Axiata Group gained 0.7 percent to 6.95 ringgit.
— Singapore closed down 0.04 percent, or 1.40 points, at 3,257.40.
Real estate developer Capitaland rose 0.31 percent to Sg$3.23 while DBS Bank eased 0.12 percent to Sg$16.89.
— Jakarta closed down 0.11 percent, or 5.57 points, at 4,842.13.
Bank Permata gained 0.39 percent to 1,300 rupiah, while state miner Aneka Tambang fell 0.44 percent to 1,120 rupiah.
— Taipei eased 0.49 percent, or 45.44 points, to 9,228.35.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. shed 1.20 percent to Tw$123.0, while leading chip design house MediaTek was 0.39 percent higher at Tw$511.0.
— Wellington fell 0.37 percent, or 18.87 points, to 5,126.16.
Telecom was down 0.56 percent at NZ$2.665 and Fletcher Building was steady at NZ$8.82.
— Manila closed 0.46 percent higher, adding 31.03 points to 6,761.99.
Philippine Long Distance Telephone edged up 0.07 percent to 2,862 pesos and Ayala Land jumped 2.49 percent to 30.90 pesos.
— Bangkok edged up 0.10 percent, or 1.41 points, to 1,468.70.
Coal producer Banpu fell 1.72 percent to 28.50 baht, while mobile operator Advance Info Service added 0.47 percent to 215.00 baht.
— Mumbai fell 0.30 percent, or 74.19 points, to 25,031.32.
Tobacco-to-biscuit conglomerate ITC shed 6.50 percent to 314.05 rupees, while Kotak Mahindra Bank lost 3.83 percent to 895.00 rupees.–Danny McCord
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