Asian markets were mixed in early trading Thursday, following a day of gains on Wall Street.
Preliminary data Wednesday showed Japan’s manufacturing activity shrank for a fourth consecutive month, according to Reuters. The Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a seasonally adjusted 49.5 in August from 49.4 in July. Readings below 50 signify contraction.
Japan’s Nikkei NIK, -0.09% fell out of positive territory and was last about flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, -1.00% fell 0.8%. The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, -0.22% slipped 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite 399106, -0.03% was about flat. South Korea’s Kospi 180721, -0.47% fell 0.4%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan Y9999, +0.04% , Singapore STI, +0.19% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.50% were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.32% rose 0.4%.
Among individual stocks, SoftBank 9984, -1.11% fell in Tokyo trading, while Sony 6758, -2.42% and Renesas Electronics 6723, -2.35% slipped as well. In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile 175, +5.80% surged, while AAC 2018, -2.33% and Wharf Real Estate 1997, -2.19% declined. Samsung 005930, -0.90% dropped in South Korea, while Apple supplier Largan Precision 3008, +2.74% gained in Taiwan. In Australia, Beach Energy BPT, +4.65% and Fortescue Metals FMG, +1.51% rallied.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks finished higher after minutes from Federal Reserve’s July meeting offered few surprises and suggested that the central bank wanted to remain flexible in implementing policy changes.