Global Market News

Factory Outlook Lifts China Stocks; Otherwise Asia Choppy


Last updated: 04/01/2024 06:58:41

06:58 AM EDT, 04/01/2024 (MT Newswires) -- Asian stock markets were uneven Monday in holiday-thinned trading, with exchanges in Hong Kong and Sydney shuttered.

Shanghai gained on prospects for a stronger factory sector, Tokyo lost ground, and other regional exchanges were mixed.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 opened evenly but declined to the close, finishing off 1.4% after a Bank of Japan survey revealed declining confidence among Japan's large manufacturers. Traders also weighed prospects Japan officials would intervene to firm the value of the yen against the US dollar.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 566.35 to 39,803.09, as losing issues outnumbered losers 175 to 50.

Leading the upside was Citizen Watch, gaining 5.1%, while chemical concern Resonac lost 6.5%.

The Bank of Japan's quarterly Tankan Survey revealed business confidence among large Japanese manufacturers worsened for the first time in four quarters, falling to 11 in March from 13 in December.

However, confidence among service sector enterprises benefited from a revival of inbound tourism, with the index rising to 34 in March from 32 in December, and striking the highest level since 1991.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.2% to 3,077.38, after purchasing manager index, or PMI, reports pointed to a rebound in manufacturing.

China's official manufacturing PMI rose to 50.8 in March from 49.1 in February, rising above the 50-marker that separates growth from contraction, the National Statistics Bureau reported on Sunday.

In a separate report by Caixin/S&P Global, the manufacturing PMI rose 51.1 in March, up from 50.9 in February.

On the other regional exchanges, the S. Korean KOSPI was flat; the Taiwan TWSE declined 0.4%; the Singapore Straits Times Index rose 0.3%, and the Thai Set added 0.1%. In late trading in Mumbai, the Sensex was up 0.5%.
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