Markets

Mainland Chinese Stocks Rise; Official Data Shows Unexpected Contraction in China Factory Activity

Noriko Hayashi | Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Asia-Pacific stocks were mixed in Thursday trade.
  • China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for September came in at 49.6 on Thursday, below the 50 mark that separates growth from contraction.
  • Investors also monitored shares of developer China Evergrande Group, after Reuters reported that some bondholders did not receive a due coupon payment due by the close of Asia business on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, as investors reacted to the release of Chinese factory activity data for September.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shanghai composite up 0.9% to 3,568.17 while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.634% to 14,309.01. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index, on the other hand, fell 0.55% as of its final hour of trading.

China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for September came in at 49.6, below expectations for a reading of 50.1 by analysts in a Reuters poll.

PMI reading below 50 represent contraction while those above that level signify expansion. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

Meanwhile, a private survey on Chinese factory activity in September came in above expectations, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for the month rising to 50 for the month as compared with August's reading 49.2.

The September factory activity readings come as China continues grappling with a power crunch.

Hong Kong-listed shares of developer China Evergrande fell more than 4% in Thursday afternoon trade after Reuters reported that some bondholders did not receive a due coupon payment by the close of Asia business hours on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.31% to close at 29,452.66 while the Topix index declined 0.4% to end the trading day at 2,030.16. Japan is set for a new prime minister after Fumio Kishida won the governing party leadership election on Wednesday.

South Korea's Kospi rose 0.28% to close at 3,068.82. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 surged 1.88% on the day to 7,332.20.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.18%.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 90.73 points higher to 34,390.72 while the S&P 500 gained 0.16% to 4,359.46. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.24% to 14,512.44.

The moves came as investors continued watching the 10-year Treasury yield, which crossed the 1.5% level on Monday and has since remained above that mark, last sitting at 1.541%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.31 following a recent climb from below 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.02 per dollar, having weakened from below 111.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7189 after falling from above $0.728 earlier this week.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.31% to $78.40 per barrel. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.21% to $74.67 per barrel.

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