Stocks fall sharply, China’s Caixin PMI data out

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

Toru Hanai | Bloomberg | Getty Images

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

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 briefly fell more than 2% and was last down 1.67%, while the Australian dollar slipped to $0.6803.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.75% and the Topix index fell 1.39%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down 1.52% and the Hang Seng Tech Index slipped 1.15%.

The Kospi in South Korea lost 1.83% and the Kosdaq lost 1.49%.

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.24% after opening lower, while the Shenzhen Component was also up 0.171%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia Pacific stocks outside of Japan fell 1.63%.

China’s Caixin/Markit Manufacturing PMI for August, released on Thursday, showed the sector slipped into contraction this month.

This comes after official manufacturing PMI data released on Wednesday showed factory activities have slowed amid a recent spike in Covid infections and the nation is facing its worst heatwaves in decades.

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

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 280.44 points, or nearly 0.9%, to 31,510.43. The S&P 500 slipped 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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