Hong Kong Takes Header, Asia Mixed

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, as investors reacted to data out of Australia and China.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shot higher 111.97 points, or 0.4%, to 29,058.11.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.79 per U.S. dollar, weaker than levels below 109.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng dropped 331.59 points, or 1.1%, to 28,966.03.

Shares in Australia also closed higher. Australia’s retail sales rose 1.1% month-on-month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7728, having seen an earlier high of $0.7754.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 34.68 points, or 0.7%, to 5,255.29.

A private survey released Thursday showed slowing Chinese services activity growth in May. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 55.1 on Thursday, lower than the reading of 56.3 in April. Still, that was well above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.

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

In other markets

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 lost 34.68 points, or 0.7%, to 5,255.29.

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index inched higher 3.96 points, or 0.1%, to 3,165.

The Kospi index in Korea took on 23.2 points, or 0.7%, to 3,247.43

In Taiwan, the Taiex index recovered 81.12 points, or 0.5%, to 17,246.16

In New Zealand the NZX 50 backpedaled 10.07 points, or 0.1%, to 12,429.98

In Australia, the ASX 200 jumped 42.33 points, or 0.6%, to 7,260.15.