World Economy

Asian Shares Mixed

Asian Shares MixedAsian Shares Mixed

Asian markets closed mixed following better-than-expected China factory data from a private survey.

The preliminary HSBC reading of China’s manufacturing activity - the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) - came in at 50.5 in September, from 50.2 in August. A reading above 50 signals an expansion , BBC reported.

China’s official PMI data is due next week on 1 October.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 0.5% lower while the Shanghai Composite rose by 0.87% on Tuesday.

Australia also closed higher but regional markets in Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines all closed slightly in the red.

Markets in Japan were shut for a national holiday, in observance of autumn equinox. Japan’s closure led to thin trading volumes across Asia on Tuesday.

In a statement which accompanied the data release, Qu Hongbin, head of economic research at HSBC, said: “Economic activity in the manufacturing sector showed signs of stabilisation in September. However, overall the data still point to modest expansion. The property downturn remains the biggest downside risk to growth.”

Shares of China’s largest residential property developer China Vanke rose 1.6% while smaller competitor China Resources Land saw its shares jump by 2.6%.


Elsewhere - Nufarm shares jumped 10.7% in Australian trade. The agricultural chemical company reported a 15% rise in full year revenue to 2.6bn Australian dollars ($2.3bn; £1.4bn).

Kathmandu shares tumbled by more than 4% on the Australian stock exchange, after the outdoor apparel maker reported a 4.5% fall in its annual profit, due to fluctuating weather and a high exchange rate.

Also in Australia, shares of BHP Billiton fell 0.6%. The global commodities giant said it would lay off 700 workers at its coal operations in central Queensland, as part of a cost-savings measure.

Global coal prices have slumped in recent months, partly due to slowing demand from major market China. BHP’s coal operations in Queensland is jointly owned with Japan’s Mitsubishi.

The South Korean stock market failed to get a lift from the HSBC data. The benchmark Kospi index remained lower following news from the Pentagon that the US and partner nations have started to carry out its first air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

Gold spot prices edged up 0.3% to $1,218.30 an ounce, after two days of falls. Traders said the precious metal could see safe-haven buying in light of the air strikes.