Asian Markets

Asian Markets Mixed Pushed by China’s Manufacturing Data

Major Asian markets were mixed by the close on Wednesday, with oil prices continuing to rise. Meanwhile, China released its data on manufacturing activity in the morning, a benchmark for Asian traders.

Mainland Chinese stocks rose by the afternoon. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.50% to close at 3,591.20, while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.08% to 15,161.70.

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Shanghai Composite Index Performance Chart

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was subdued, edging down 0.41% in the afternoon. China-based drugmaker Hutchmed made its debut in Hong Kong, trading around 64.50 Hong Kong dollars ($8.31) — up more than 60% from its offer price.

In a Hong Kong exchange filing, China’s biggest bad debt manager Huarong Asset Management said it cannot estimate when it will publish its 2020 financial results. The firm said “auditors will need more information and time to complete” the audit procedures. It said, however, that failure to provide the results does not constitute a default.

There have been concerns over the creditworthiness of the state-owned firm, which saw its dollar bonds plunge earlier this year. Trading of its shares has been suspended since April 1.

Meanwhile, China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) grew at a slower clip in June — hit by a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the major export province of Guangdong that led to port disruptions

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed just below the flatline to 28,791.53, and the Topix edged down 0.3% to 1,943.57.

South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.3% to close at 3,296.68. Tech stocks jumped, with SK Hynix up 2% and LG Electronics rising 1.55%.

Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.16% to 7,313.00. Major mining names closed in positive territory, with Rio Tinto jumping 1.31% and Fortescue Metals jumping nearly 1%.

Asian Markets Oil and Currencies

Oil prices continue to rise this week after hitting their highest level since 2018 last week.

On Wednesday afternoon during Asia hours, international benchmark Brent crude futures rose 0.16% to $74.88 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures jumped 0.42% to $73.29 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.057 — jumping from levels above 91.7 seen earlier this week.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.47 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110.8 seen earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7516, down from levels around 0.758 seen earlier this week

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