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.

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