China PMI data, stocks, currencies, oil

SINGAPORE — Chinese markets rose on Thursday as government data showed factory activity grew in June, but most other Asia-Pacific indexes fell.

Mainland China’s markets traded higher. The Shanghai Composite advanced 0.37%, and the Shenzhen Component gained 1%.

The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.13%.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan dropped 0.7%, while the Topix slipped 0.54%

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.54%.

South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.91%, while the Kosdaq was 1.04% lower.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares was down 0.44%.

The bottom line is that until the inflation data shows a sustainable moderation, it remains risky to jump on softer economic data.

In economic news, China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for June was at 50.2, slightly lower than the expected 50.5, according to a Reuters poll.

The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis, and the index has been under 50 since March.

South Korea’s factory output grew mildly in May, government data showed. Industrial production increased 0.1% from April’s figure. Service sector output grew 1.1% in May.

Japan’s industrial production dropped 7.2% in May, according to government data. That figure was much lower than market consensus and could have been affected by lockdowns in China, Rob Carnell, ING’s regional head of research in Asia-Pacific, wrote in a Thursday note.

In corporate news, Toyota Motor missed its monthly production target in May for the third month in a row, Reuters reported. The company’s shares were down 0.61% on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Hyundai Motor has decided to delay the launch of its upgraded hydrogen car, the Nexo SUV, Reuters reported, citing a South Korean newspaper. Hyundai shares rose 2%.

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Overnight in the US, stocks fluctuated on Wednesday after the major averages made a failed attempt at a bounce in the previous session, and as the market prepared to close out the worst first half of the year since 1970.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session up 82.32 points, or 0.27%, to 31,029.31, while the other benchmarks closed slightly lower. The S&P 500 dipped 0.07% to 3,818.83, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite edged down by 0.03% to 11,177.89.

Rate hikes, recession fears and inflation concerns have plagued the market.

ANZ Research in a Thursday note said markets have been “cautious and lacking strong conviction” as central bankers say they will prioritize tackling inflation.

“The bottom line is that until the inflation data shows a sustainable moderation, it remains risky to jump on softer economic data and declare that the peak in central bank interest rates for this cycle has been priced in,” the note said.

Currencies and oil

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 105,185, rising from below 104 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 136.61 per dollar, after briefly breaking the 137 level. The Australian dollar was at $0.6863, continuing its mostly downward trend for the week.

US crude futures were little changed at $109.60 per barrel, while Brent crude futures slipped 0.36% to $115.84 per barrel.

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