HONG KONG (AFP) – Asian markets were mixed Wednesday as bargain-buying was offset by the effects of a sell-off in New York and Europe in response to fresh data indicating weakness in the eurozone.
Japan’s Nikkei returned from a public holiday to a stronger yen which put downward pressure on exporters.
Tokyo slipped 0.24 per cent, or 38.45 points, to end at 16,167.45, while Sydney declined 0.74 per cent, or 39.9 points, to 5,375.8. Seoul added 0.33 per cent, or 6.73 points, to 2,035.64.
Shanghai rallied 1.47 per cent, or 33.86 points, to 2,343.58, an 18-month high.
Hong Kong closed up 0.35 per cent or 84.54 points at 23,921.61 following a better-than expected Chinese manufacturing report Tuesday.
US investors followed their European colleagues into retreat on Tuesday after a closely watched gauge of business activity in the 18-nation eurozone slipped again in September, fanning worries about the region’s stuttering recovery.
The Markit Economics composite purchasing managers index (PMI) saw a second consecutive fall in September, hitting a nine-month low of 52.3 from 52.5 points in August. A reading above 50 suggests growth and anything below points to a contraction.
London’s FTSE 100 tumbled 1.44 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index dropped 1.58 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 fell 1.87 per cent.
Those losses filtered through to New York, where the Dow slipped 0.68 per cent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.58 per cent and the Nasdaq fell 0.42 per cent.
They also came despite a better-than-expected pickup in HSBC’s preliminary PMI for September.
On foreign exchange markets the dollar slipped to 108.57 yen from 108.87 yen in New York. However, while the greenback is well down from the levels above 109 yen it hit last week it was still hovering around six-year highs.
The euro fetched $1.2859 and 139.62 yen against $1.2850 and 139.91 yen.
On oil markets US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 19 cents to $91.75 while Brent crude added one cent to $96.86 in afternoon trade.
Gold was at $1,224.28 an ounce against $1,226.0 an ounce late Tuesday.