SINGAPORE – Asia Pacific stocks fell in trading Thursday as investors reacted to the release of Chinese economic data.
Mainland stocks were lower as the Shanghai composite fell about 0.1% and the Shenzhen component fell 0.56%.
A private survey published on Thursday showed that the growth of Chinese factory activities slowed in June. The Caixin / Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index for June was 51.3 on Thursday, a lower reading than May’s 52.0.
PMI values above 50 indicate expansion, while those below indicate contraction. The PMI readings are sequential and show expansion or contraction from month to month.
China’s official June PMI, released Wednesday, showed slower growth in factory activity.
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The Japanese Nikkei 225 lost 0.37% while the Topix index lost 0.25%. The headline index of sentiment of major manufacturers in the Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan Business Sentiment poll, released Thursday, was up 14, up from plus 5 in March.
South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.47%. Australian stocks also fell, with the S & P / ASX 200 falling 0.45%.
MSCI’s broadest index for Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan was down 0.27%.
Hong Kong markets are closed on Thursday due to a public holiday.
Overnight, the US S&P 500 climbed 0.13% to 4,297.50 – its fifth record close in a row. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also rose 210 points to 34,502.51 points. The Nasdaq Composite lagged as it fell 0.17% to 14,503.95.
Currencies and oil
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback versus a basket of its competitors, hit 92.403 after reading below 92.1 earlier this week.
The Japanese yen was trading at 111.09 per dollar, significantly weaker than yesterday against the greenback below 110.6. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7491 after slipping above $ 0.756 earlier in the week.
Oil prices were higher on the afternoon of Asian trading hours, with Brent international benchmark crude oil futures trading 0.24% higher at $ 74.80 a barrel. US crude oil futures also rose 0.3% to $ 73.69 a barrel.