Asian Markets Mixed, Data Shows China’s Factory Activity was Lower in August

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday, as data showed slowing Chinese factory activity growth in August.

In mainland China, the Shanghai composite rose 0.45% to close at 3,543.94 while the Shenzhen component shed 0.659% on the day to 14,328.38.

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Shanghai composite index performance Chart

China’s factory activity grew at a slower pace in August as compared with the previous month, data released Tuesday showed. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August came in at 50.1, against July’s reading of 50.4.

Meanwhile, the official non-manufacturing PMI for August came in at 47.5 — its lowest reading since the height of the pandemic in early 2020.

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

“I think these numbers confirm what a lot of other data has been suggesting for a while now that the Chinese economy is slowing down. China was the first into this pandemic and the first out of it as such and I think now we’re beginning to see a much more broadening kind of slowing in the overall economy. ”Jonathan Pain, author of The Pain Report.

Hong Kong-listed shares of Tencent and Netease were mixed amid regulatory fears. Tencent recovered from earlier losses to rise 3.31% on Tuesday while Netease dropped 2.07%.

That came after new rules published Monday by China’s National Press and Publication Administration showed plans to limit the time that those under 18 years spend playing video games to just three hours a week.

Hong Kong’s broader Hang Seng index rose 1.33% to close at 25,878.99. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.08% to close at 28,089.54 while the Topix index advanced 0.54% to finish the trading day at 1,960.70. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.75% to close at 3,199.27.

Elsewhere, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia edged 0.41% higher. while the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.34%.

Asian Markets Currencies and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.502 after its decline last week from above 93.0.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.84 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.8 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.733, against an earlier low of $0.7286.

Oil prices were lower during the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.93% to $72.73 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 1.13% to $68.43 per barrel.

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