Market Overview

Asia-Pacific markets mixed; China says its factory activity expanded in March

Shares in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Wednesday as official data showed China’s factory activity growing in March. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 0.63% while the Topix index declined 0.68%. South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, rose 0.19%. Mainland Chinese stocks were lower by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.61% and the Shenzhen component shedding 0.952%. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong dipped 0.31%. Shares in Australia were higher as the S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.69%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares slipped 0.09%. Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group fell 3.49% in afternoon trade after the firm’s brokerage arm flagged potential losses of around $300 million due to an event at its European subsidiary in relation to an unnamed U.S. client. That development came in the wake of the recent meltdown at Archegos Capital Management. Credit Suisse and Nomura, two prime brokers of Archegos, announced Monday that they faced losses that could be “highly significant” to the banks.

In economic developments, official data showed China’s factory activity expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in March. The official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at 51.9, according to the National Bureau of Statistics — compared to February’s reading of 50.6. Analysts had expected a reading of 51 for March, according to Reuters.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 104.41 points to close at 33,066.96 while the S&P 500 finished its trading day about 0.32% lower at 3,958.55. The Nasdaq Composite closed 0.11% lower at 13,045.39. The losses on Wall Street came as the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note touched a 14-month high on Tuesday. It later eased from those levels and last sat at 1.7422%.

Asia-Pacific markets mixed; China says its factory activity expanded in March, CNBC, Mar 31

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