Asia Muddled as China Data Factors In

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, with investors watching for market reaction to the release of a private survey on Chinese factory activity for May.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 hiked 178.09 points, or 0.7%, to 27,457.89.

The Japanese yen traded at 129.40 per U.S. dollar, weaker than levels below 127.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index declined 120.26 points, or 0.6%, to 21,294.94.

Australian stocks gained as Australia’s gross domestic product grew 0.8% quarter-on-quarterly in seasonally adjusted chain volume terms during the first quarter, data from the country’s Bureau of Statistics showed Wednesday.

That was above expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.5% gain.

The Australian dollar was at $0.7174, still stronger than levels below $0.708 seen last week.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 8.34 points, or 0.2%, to 4,087.18.

China’s Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 48.1 on Wednesday, an improvement over April’s reading of 46 but remaining below the 50-level mark that separates expansion from contraction.

China’s official manufacturing PMI for May, released Tuesday, came in at 49.6 — an improvement over April’s reading of 47.4. The May reading was above the 48.6 level expected from a Reuters poll.

PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

In other markets

In Korea, markets were shuttered for holiday.

In Taiwan, the Taiex ditched 132.68 points, or 0.8%, to 16,675.09

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recovered 11.51 points, or 0.4%, to 3,244

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 jumped 64.89 points, or 0.6%, to 11,373.23.

In Australia, the ASX 200 regained 22.8 points, or 0.3%, to 7,233.98