Asia-Pacific stocks rise; data shows Chinese factory activity growth accelerating in December

Asia-Pacific stocks rise; data shows Chinese factory activity growth accelerating in December

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Tuesday trade, as data showed accelerating Chinese factory activity growth in December.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.29%. Mainland Chinese stocks, on the other hand, declined. The Shanghai composite slipped about 0.3% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.568%.

Chinese factory activity growth accelerated in December, according to a private survey released Tuesday. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index came in at 50.9, rising from November’s reading of 49.9. Economists in a Reuters poll had expected the figure for December to rise to 50.

The 50-point mark in PMI readings separates growth from contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for December, released last week, showed an acceleration in growth of Chinese factory activity that month. The official manufacturing PMI for December came in at 50.3 from November’s reading of 50.1.

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan climbed 1.41%, with the Topix index gaining 1.3%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.43%. Shares in Japan and Australia started their trading year on Tuesday following a Monday holiday.

South Korea’s Kospi shed earlier gains, falling 0.35%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.38% higher.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 closed at records on their first trading day of 2022.

The Dow jumped 246.76 points to 36,585.06 while the S&P 500 climbed 0.64% to 4,796.56. The Nasdaq Composite surged 1.2% to 15,832.80.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.192. That compared against levels below 96 seen recently.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.42 per dollar, still weaker than levels below 114.9 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7201, lower than levels above $0.726 seen yesterday.

Oil prices were mildly higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.05% to $79.02 per barrel. U.S. crude futures rose fractionally to $76.11 per barrel.

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