Private survey on Chinese factory activity in May ahead


SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific nudged higher in Wednesday morning trade, with investors looking ahead to the release of a private survey on Chinese factory activity for May.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 0.29% while the Topix index advanced 0.64%.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.25%. Australia’s first-quarter gross domestic product data is set to be released at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN today.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded little changed.

Markets in South Korea are closed on Wednesday for a holiday.

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China’s Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May is set to be out at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.

China’s official manufacturing PMI for May, released Tuesday, came in at 49.6 — an improvement over April’s reading of 47.4. The May reading was above the 48.6 level expected from a Reuters poll but still below the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 shed 0.63% to 4,132.15. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 222.84 points, or 0.67%, to 32,990.12. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.41% to 12,081.39.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 101.747 after a recent decline from above 102.

The Japanese yen traded at 128.79 per dollar, weaker than levels below 127.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7178, still stronger than levels below $0.708 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.64% to $116.34 per barrel. U.S. crude futures gained 0.47% to $115.21 per barrel.


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