Asia Mixed as China Activity Shrinks

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Wednesday, as a private survey showed shrinking Chinese factory activity in August.

The Nikkei 225 zoomed 361.48 points, or 1.3%, to 28,451.02.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.27 per U.S. dollar, weaker than levels below 109.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index jumped 149.3 points, or 0.6%, to 26,028.29.

Australia’s gross domestic product rose 0.7% in the June quarter, according to data released by the country’s statistics bureau. That was above expectations for a 0.5% increase, according to Reuters.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7338 after climbing from below $0.73 yesterday.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 regrouped 63.85 points, or 1.3%, to 4,869.46.

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August came in at 49.2 on Wednesday, below the 50 mark that separates expansion from contraction.

The Wednesday private survey release came after the official manufacturing PMI released Tuesday showed slowing Chinese factory activity growth in August, coming in at 50.1 against July’s reading of 50.4.

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.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi index advanced 7.75 points, or 0.2%, to 3,207.02

In Singapore, the Straits Times progressed 32.79 points, or 1.1%, to 3,087.84

In Taiwan, the Taiex index deleted 16.3 points, or 0.1%, to 17,473.99

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 added 24.67 points, or 0.2%, to 13,243.49

In Australia, the ASX 200 dropped 7.76 points, or 0.1%, at 7,527.13