Asian shares mixed, Shanghai up on China factory data

PHOTO: Asian shares mixed, Shanghai up on China factory data

HONG KONG - Asian shares were mixed Monday after last week's rallies, but Shanghai saw healthy gains after better than expected Chinese manufacturing data signalled a rebound in the world's second-largest economy.

Investors took their money off the table after last week's huge gains fuelled by the US Federal Reserve's surprise decision to leave its stimulus programme unchanged.

Shanghai jumped 1.33 per cent, or 29.19 points, to 2,221.04 but Hong Kong eased 0.56 per cent, or 130.97 points, to 23,371.54 in shortened trade due to Typhoon Usagi.

Seoul gained 0.19 per cent, or 3.83 points, to end at 2,009.41, while Sydney was down 0.46 per cent, or 24.2 points, at 5,252.5.

Tokyo was shut for a public holiday.

China's manufacturing activity expanded in September to a six-month high, banking giant HSBC said, a further sign that a recovery is gaining steam on improving demand.

HSBC said its preliminary purchasing managers' index for the manufacturing sector in China hit 51.2 in September, the highest since March when the index stood at 51.6.

It was higher than last month's final reading of 50.1, which improved from an 11-month low of 47.7 in July and ended three months of contraction, according to the bank. Anything above 50 is considered growth while a reading below indicates contraction.

Stock markets across the globe jumped last week following the Fed's announcement that it would delay tapering its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying scheme.

Developing economies such as Indonesia, the Philippines and India breathed a sigh of relief after suffering a heavy sell-off in August as investors bet on the Fed winding down its quantitative easing (QE) policy.

The euro eased against the dollar on profit-taking after early gains in the wake of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's third election victory on Sunday.

"The election has gripped international interest as the eurozone is coming out of a recession, and continuity is what the markets favour," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, said in a note.

The single currency bought $1.3510, compared with $1.3524 in New York late Friday. It bought 133.76 yen from 134.36 yen.

The dollar dipped to 98.98 yen from 99.35 yen.

Wall Street's Friday lead was weak, with US traders growing concerned about another budget and debt ceiling standoff on Capitol Hill.

The Dow fell 1.19 per cent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.72 per cent and the Nasdaq lost 0.39 per cent.

On oil markets, New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November rose 19 cents to $104.94. Brent North Sea crude for November rose 14 cents to $109.36.

Gold cost $1,321.80 at 1020 GMT compared with $1,357.15 Friday.

In other markets:

Singapore fell 0.72 per cent, or 23.28 points, to close at 3,214.25.

Singapore Telecom shed 1.05 per cent to Sg$3.76 and DBS Bank tumbled 0.72 per cent to Sg$16.62.

Taipei rose 1.02 per cent, or 83.65 points, to 8,292.83.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co climbed 2.43 per cent to Tw$105.5 while Hon Hai was 0.4 per cent higher at Tw$76.2.

Manila added 0.83 per cent, or 53.49 points, to end at 6,477.94.

Wellington slipped 0.61 per cent, or 29.0 points, to 4,701.37.

Fletcher Building fell 0.73 per cent to NZ$9.51, Internet provider Chorus slipped 0.34 per cent to NZ$2.92 and Telecom was up 0.44 per cent at NZ$2.28.

Jakarta fell 0.46 per cent, or 20.97 points, to 4,562.86.

Car maker Astra International fell 0.72 per cent to 6,850 rupiah, while cigarette maker Gudang Garam lost 1.38 to 39,250 rupiah.

Kuala Lumpur eased 0.30 per cent, or 5.47 points, to 1,796.36.

AMMB Holdings ended 0.78 per cent lower at 7.60 ringgit and Public Bank shed 0.11 per cent to 17.90 but Tenaga Nasional gained 0.11 per cent to 9.05 ringgit.

Bangkok tumbled 3.37 per cent, or 50.08 points, to 1,436.68.

Coal producer Banpu fell 1.36 per cent to 290.00 baht while Thai Airways slumped 5.42 per cent to 19.20 baht.

Mumbai fell 1.79 per cent, or 362.75 points, to 19,900.96.