Asian Stocks Mostly Advance After Improved China Data

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Asian Stocks
Asian Stocks

Asian stock markets mostly advanced Monday after the official data showed that Chinese manufacturing activity expanded for the second straight month in November.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei gained 0.54 percent or 50.80 points to 9,496.81, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2 to 22,067.07 and South Korea's KOSPI Composite rose 0.27 percent or 5.27 points to 1,938.17 while Chinese Shanghai Composite declined 0.35 percent and India’s BSE Sensex fell 0.21 percent.

Sentiment was improved after China's official and private sector manufacturing PMIs confirmed a recovering growth trend. The official data showed that China's manufacturing activity expanded in November for the second month in a row, suggesting that the world’s second-largest economy is reviving its growth momentum.

The data released by the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing Saturday showed that the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) reached a seven-month high of 50.6 in November from 50.2 in October.

Separately, a private sector survey released Monday also showed improvement in China’s manufacturing activity. The final reading of the HSBC Flash PMI, a measure of the nation-wide manufacturing, surged to 50.5 in November, entering an expansionary territory of above 50 for the first time in 13 months, from 49.5 in October.

"There is growing confidence that China's economy bottomed in July-September, with signs of firmer external demand. Sentiment is supported because the gradual recovery in Asian economies comes against the backdrop of low interest rates environment, which won't be changed anytime soon, so the recovery in risk sentiment is likely to extend into next year,” Hirokazu Yuihama, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities, told Reuters.

Japanese shares advanced, led by gains from industrial and technology companies’ shares. Japan Steel Works Ltd. advanced 1.98 percent and Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. surged 2.08 percent while Panasonic Corp. gained 0.99 percent.

Gemdale Corp. surged 3.78 percent and Poly Real Estate Group Co Ltd. gained 3.40 percent in Shanghai while Agile Property Holdings Ltd. advanced 2.30 percent in Hong Kong.

Seoul shares advanced after data showed that South Korea’s manufacturing activity continued to contract in November but improved to a five-month high. The HSBC Purchasing Managers’ Index released Monday rose to 48.2 in November compared to 47.4 in October. However, since the PMI is below 50, it indicates that the manufacturing is declining.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. advanced 1.49 percent and Hyundai Motors gained 1.55 percent while Kia Motor Corp. rose 1.29 percent. 

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