Asia markets slide as investors assess factory activity private surveys; China manufacturing clocks surprise growth

Asia-Pacific markets started Friday lower, breaking ranks with Wall Street which mostly advanced on Thursday, amid mixed economic data from across the region.

Most notably, investors assessed China’s Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for November, which showed that the sector unexpectedly expanded.

The Caixin PMI reading came in at 50.7, compared to 49.5 in October and beating a Reuters poll forecast of 49.8.

This comes after official numbers Thursday showed the country’s manufacturing sector contracted for a second straight month.

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In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 inched down 0.2% and closed at 7,073.2, ending a three-day winning streak.

South Korea’s Kospi tumbled 1.19%, leading losses in Asia and ending at 2,505.01, while the small cap Kosdaq was down 0.53% at 827.24.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was ended the day down 0.17% at 33,431.51, but the Topix bucked the wider trend and closed up 0.32% at 2,382.52.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 1.1% in its final hour of trade, while China’s CSI 300 index dropped 0.38%, ending at 3,481.88 and hitting its lowest level since Oct. 24.

.N225Nikkei 225 Index*NIKKEI32791.8483.941.5
.HSIHang Seng Index*HSI16205.77-128.6-0.79
.AXJOS&P/ASX 200*ASX 20071994.10.06
.KS11KOSPI Index*KOSPI2525.117.260.29
.FTFCNBCACNBC 100 ASIA IDX*CNBC 1008345.073.380.04

Overnight in the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a new high for the year, as cooling inflation data and strong Salesforce earnings help the benchmark cap its best month since October 2022.

The S&P 500 added 0.4%, but the Nasdaq Composite was about 0.2% lower as investors took some profits in Big Tech stocks that have led the November comeback.

Separately, the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index — the Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation gauge — rose 3.5% on a year-over-year basis, slowing from a 3.7% annual gain in prior month.

— CNBC’s Pia Singh and Lisa Kailai Han contributed to this report.

FRI, DEC 1 20231:29 AM EST

India’s November factory activity rebounds slightly off eight-month low

India’s manufacturing activity rebounded off an eight-month low to post a faster rate of expansion in November, according to private surveys by S&P Global.

The country’s manufacturing PMI came in at 56.0 in November, in line with a Reuters forecast and higher than the 55.5 seen in October.

S&P noted that easing price pressures were a main reason behind the increase, pointing out that “although average purchasing costs rose again, the rate of inflation eased to the lowest in the current 40-month sequence of increases and was negligible by historical standards.”

— Lim Hui Jie

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