Asian shares fell Thursday as China's official and private sector manufacturing PMIs confirmed a recovering growth trend, but that failed to convince investors the slowdown was bottoming out.
China's October official PMI rose to 50.2 in October from 49.8 in September, almost matching a forecast 50.3, pointing to expanded factory activity in the world's second-largest economy, Reuters reported. The final reading of the HSBC PMI hit an 8-month high of 49.5.
The MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5 percent after ending October with a 0.5 percent gain, in contrast to September's 5.6 percent rise.
The manufacturing data showed mild improvement in Chinese factory activity, which helped the index trim losses slightly.
"The return of PMI above 50 suggests economic momentum has indeed picked up. It indicates the effect of policy easing may have been stronger than the consensus expected," Zhiwei Zhang of Nomura wrote in a comment emailed to Reuters.
Australian shares dropped 0.8 percent as miners and banks retreated, while South Korean shares slipped 1 percent, weighed down by data showing the country's manufacturing sector in October shrank for a fifth consecutive month, although the pace of decline slowed.
The reaction in the Australian dollar, which is sensitive to China, its largest export destination, was limited with the currency steadying at $1.0370.
Japan's Nikkei average was up 0.1 percent after a choppy morning trade, as better-than-expected results from the likes of mobile operator Softbank countered a tumble in Panasonic and companies issuing profit warnings.
The dollar gained 0.3 percent against the yen to 80, approaching a four-month high of 80.38 hit last week.
The euro was pinned in the recent $1.28-$1.32 range, trading steady at $1.2965.