Asia-Pacific equities mixed; data shows Chinese factory activity contracted again in May


SINGAPORE — Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Tuesday as investors watched the market’s reaction to the release of official Chinese factory activity data for May.

The Shanghai Composite in mainland China was near flat while the Shenzhen Component fell 0.196%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index traded up 0.18%.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for May came in at 49.6, an improvement from April’s reading of 47.4.

The May reading was above the 48.6 level expected from a Reuters poll but still below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-to-month expansion or contraction.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan hovered near the fixed line while the Topix index fell 0.09%. In South Korea, the Kospi climbed 0.1%.

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Australian stocks fell as the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.23%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan traded little changed.

US markets were closed Monday for a public holiday.

Oil prices rise after EU agrees Russia sanctions

Oil prices rose in the morning of Asian hours after European Union leaders agreed to impose a partial ban on Russian oil for its invasion of Ukraine by the end of 2022.

The deal “would effectively reduce around 90% of Russia’s oil imports to the EU by the end of the year,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.

International benchmark Brent crude futures gained 0.62% to $122.43 a barrel. U.S. crude futures jumped 2.41% to $117.84 a barrel.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.616 – still off levels above 102 seen last week.

The Japanese yen was trading at 128.08 to the dollar after weakening yesterday from levels below 127.2 against the greenback. The Australian dollar was at $0.7184, down from an earlier high of $0.7203.


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