Stocks fall sharply, Chinese Caixin PMI data released

An employee works at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Japan, January 13, 2022.

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific stocks are mostly trading lower on Thursday as investors digest the results of a private survey into Chinese factory activity.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 briefly fell more than 2% and was last down 1.67%, while the Australian dollar weakened to $0.6803.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 1.75% and the Topix index fell 1.39%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.52% and the Hang Seng Tech Index fell 1.15%.

The Kospi in South Korea lost 1.83% and the Kosdaq lost 1.49%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.24% after opening lower, while the Shenzhen Component also rose 0.171%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 1.63%.

The Caixin/Markit Chinese Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August, released on Thursday, showed that the sector was contracting this month.

It comes after official manufacturing PMI data released on Wednesday showed factory activity had fallen amid a recent spike in Covid infections, and the country was facing the worst heatwaves in decades.

Overnight in the United States, major stock indices rose earlier in the session, but closed lower for a fourth straight day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 280.44 points, or nearly 0.9%, to 31,510.43. The S&P 500 slid about 0.8% to end the day at 3,955, and the Nasdaq Composite was down about 0.6% at 11,816.20.

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