Asian Stocks Higher After Upbeat Chinese Factory Data

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) —
A man cycles past an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Asian stocks were higher Tuesday, as upbeat Chinese factory data bolstered investor sentiment.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained 0.7 percent to 22,147.18 and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 2,043.97. China’s Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1 percent to 3,135.30. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.2 percent to 5,733.20. Stocks in Taiwan and Singapore were higher, but they were lower in Indonesia. Tokyo stock markets remained closed.

Caixin manufacturing, purchasing managers’ index advanced in December at its fastest rate in three years. The index stood at 51.9, higher than market forecasts of 50.7 and an improvement from the previous month’s reading of 50.9. Over the weekend, a report showed that China’s manufacturing sector continued to expand in December, though at a slightly slower pace than the month before.

“This showed that [the Chinese] government’s measures to curb the property bubble in early October 2016 have started to have a knock-on effect on the broader economy,” said Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets in Singapore.

On Monday, European markets finished with gains. Germany’s DAX closed 1 percent higher at 11,598.33 and France’s CAC 40 rose 0.4 percent to 4,882.38. Italy’s FTSE MIB gained 1.7 percent to 19,566.53. Britain’s FTSE 100 and Wall Street remained closed.

Benchmark U.S. crude was up 30 cents at $54.02 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up 33 cents at $57.15.

The dollar rose to 117.43 yen from 117.41 yen. The euro was trading at $1.0484, up from $1.0467.

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