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Asia Slides to Begin Last Month of Year

Asia-Pacific markets started Friday lower, breaking ranks with Wall Street which mostly advanced on Thursday, amid mixed economic data from across the region.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index dumped 55.38 points, or 0.2%, to 33,431,51.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 212.58 points, or 1.3%, to 16,830.30.


In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 13.32 points, or 0.4%, to 3,482.88, hitting its lowest level since Oct. 24.

Investors assessed China’s Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for November, which showed that the sector unexpectedly expanded.

The Caixin PMI reading came in at 50.7, compared to 49.5 in October and beating a Reuters poll forecast of 49.8.

This comes after official numbers Thursday showed the country’s manufacturing sector contracted for a second straight month.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index regained 17.32 points, or 0.6%, to 3,090.31.

In Taiwan, the Taiex edged higher 4.5 points, on 0.03%, to 17,438.25.

In Korea, the Kospi index faltered 30.28 points, or 1.2%, to 2,505.01.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 gained 37.32 points, or 0.3%, to 11,367.51.

In Australia, the ASX 200 dipped 14.16 points, or 0.2%, to 7,073.18.