Sep 30, 2020

Asian Markets Closing Report: Asia-Pacific stocks mixed as investors react to China's manufacturing activity data, U.S. presidential debate


Eustance Huang

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Wednesday as investors reacted to the release of China’s manufacturing activity data for September.

Mainland Chinese markets were mixed on the day, with the Shanghai composite down 0.2% to about 3,218.05 while the Shenzhen component was fractionally higher at around 12,907.45.

Japan markets were lower, with the Nikkei 225 shedding 1.5% to close at 23,185.12 while the Topix index declined 1.97% to finish its trading day at 1,625.49.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose about 1%, as of its final hour of trading. Shares of China Evergrande Group listed in the city soared around 16% after the firm on Tuesday announced agreements with investors of its unit, Hengda Real Estate. Evergrande’s stock has seen a wave of volatility in recent days amid concerns over the firm’s financial situation.

Elsewhere, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.29% to close at 5,815.90. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was 0.13% higher.

Markets in South Korea were closed Wednesday for a holiday.

Chinese economic data watch

Meanwhile, a private manufacturing survey also showed manufacturing activity expanding in September, with the Caixin/Markit PMI coming in at 53.0. Analysts polled by Reuters expected the Caixin/Markit PMI for September to come in at 53.1 — the same level as August.

The private survey features a bigger mix of small- and medium-sized firms. In comparison, the official PMI survey typically polls a large proportion of big businesses and state-owned companies. Chinese economic data has been watched by investors for further clues on the Chinese economy’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Japan telco shares mixed

Shares of Japanese telecommunications firms were closely watched following a recent shakeup in the sector, with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) set to take over its telecommunications unit, NTT Docomo.

Shares of NTT fell 3.61% on Wednesday while NTT Docomo surged 20.92%. Meanwhile, shares of NTT Docomo’s mobile peers were lower — SoftBank Corp dipped 1.13% while KDDI shed 0.34%.

The move by NTT comes as new Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga calls on wireless carriers to reduce prices, according to Reuters, with the hope that the savings generated will stimulate consumer spending elsewhere in the economy.

.N225Nikkei 225 IndexNIKKEI23185.12-353.98-1.50
.HSIHang Seng IndexHSI23546.80271.271.17
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200ASX 2005815.90-136.20-2.29
.KS11KOSPI IndexKOSPI2327.8919.810.86
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDXCNBC 1009016.43-20.93-0.23


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.914 following an earlier low of 93.792.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.63 per dollar, having seen an earlier low of 105.80 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7114 after touching an earlier high of $0.7149.

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert and Huileng Tan contributed to this report.

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