Asia Higher Amid China Factory News

Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, as investors reacted to the release of Chinese factory activity data for September.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 91.63 points, or 0.3%, to 29,452.66.

The Japanese yen traded at 112.02 per U.S. dollar, having weakened from below 111.6 against the greenback yesterday.

Japan is set for a new prime minister after Fumio Kishida won the governing party leadership election on Wednesday.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index descended 87.66 points, or 0.4%, to 24,575.64.

Hong Kong-listed shares of developer China Evergrande fell more than 4% in Thursday afternoon trade after Reuters reported that some bondholders did not receive a due coupon payment by the close of Asia business hours on Wednesday.

The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7189 after falling from above $0.728 earlier this week.

CHINA

In China, the CSI 300 regrouped 32.45 points or 0.7%, to 4,866.38

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for September came in at 49.6, below expectations for a reading of 50.1 by analysts in a Reuters poll.

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

Meanwhile, a private survey on Chinese factory activity in September came in above expectations, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for the month rising to 50 for the month as compared with August’s reading 49.2.

The September factory activity readings come as China continues grappling with a power crunch.

In other markets

In Korea, the Kospi inched forward 8.55 points, or 0.3%, to 3,068.82.

In Taiwan, the Taiex jumped 79.31 points, or 0.5%, to 16,934.77.

In Singapore, the Straits Times recovered 12.39 points, or 0.4%, to 3,068.82

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 rumbled higher 155.97 points, or 1.2%, to 13,275.76

In Australia, the ASX 200 popped 135.45 points, or 1.9%, at 7,332.16