Australia shares fall 2%, China Caixin PMI ahead

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

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Asia-Pacific shares traded lower on Thursday as investors await the results of a private survey on China’s factory activity.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 1[ads1].98% and the Australian dollar weakened to $0.6811.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.54%, and the Topix index fell 1.3%.

Kospi in South Korea fell 1.53% and Kosdaq lost 0.9%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was 1.1% lower, and in mainland China the Shanghai Composite was up 0.17% after opening lower, while the Shenzhen Composite was also up 0.56%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.4%.

China’s Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August released on Thursday showed the sector slipping into contraction this month.

This comes after official manufacturing PMI data released on Wednesday showed factory activity shrank amid a recent surge in Covid infections and the nation faces its worst heat waves in decades.

Overnight in the US, major stock indexes rose earlier in the session, but closed lower for the fourth day in a row.

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

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