Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, with China releasing mixed economic data and investors assessed the challenges ahead as the third quarter draws to a close.
China’s Shanghai Composite slid 1.83% by 10:30 PM ET (2:30 AM GMT) while the Shenzhen Component jumped 1.28%.
Data released earlier in the day showed that September’s manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) was at a lower-than-expected 49.6. However, the non-manufacturing PMI and the Caixin manufacturing PMI were at a better-than-expected 53.2 and 50 respectively.
China Evergrande Group's (HK:3333) debt woes also continued to be on investors’ minds, with the People’s Bank of China injecting liquidity into the financial system on Wednesday ahead of a week-long holiday.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.19%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down 0.38%, with industrial production contracting a bigger-than-expected 3.2% month-on-month in August.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party chose Fumio Kishida as its new leader on Wednesday, with Kishida likely to be the country’s next prime minister. South Korea’s KOSPI edged up 0.17%.
In Australia, the ASX 200 jumped 1.46%, with building approvals growing 6.8% month-on-month while private sector credit grew 0.6% month-on-month in August.
Although concerns about global economic growth amid inflationary pressures alongside a looming energy crisis, supply chain bottlenecks, and regulatory risks in China remain, some investors remained cautiously optimistic.
“Growth has clearly hit an air pocket here with concerns about COVID-19, with the drama going on in Washington right now, the Chinese property sector that has sent tremors to global markets.
Having said that, the general trajectory of the global economy remains very much where it was earlier in 2021,” Barings chief global strategist Christopher Smart told Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde spoke at an ECB forum on Wednesday alongside Bank of England and Bank of Japan Governors Andrew Bailey and Haruhiko Kuroda.
They were cautiously optimistic that supply-chain disruptions lifting inflation rates globally will be temporary. Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will testify at a House Banking Committee hearing later in the day.
U.S. economic data, including GDP, is due later in the day. Further data, including the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing PMI and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment index, will be released on Friday. Source.