Hong Kong Stocks Fall By Nearly 1%

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

Mainland Chinese stocks advanced, with the Shanghai composite up 0.37% while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.422%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, on the other hand, fell 0.86%.

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.

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

Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.19% while the Topix index declined 0.29%. Japan is set for a new prime minister after Fumio Kishida won the governing party leadership election on Wednesday.

South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.62%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 surged 1.5%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 90.73 points higher to 34,390.72 while the S&P 500 gained 0.16% to 4,359.46. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.24% to 14,512.44.

The moves came as investors continued watching the 10-year Treasury yield, which crossed the 1.5% level on Monday and has since remained above that mark, last sitting at 1.508%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.278 following a recent climb from below 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.90 per dollar, having weakened from below 111.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7204 after falling from above $0.728 earlier this week.
Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.27% to $78.43 per barrel. U.S. crude futures sat below the flatline, trading at $74.80 per barrel.

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