Asian stocks mixed after economic data

SEOUL, South Korea - Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday in moderate trading as upbeat reports on manufacturing in the U.S. and Europe were followed by weak growth data from South Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.8 percent to 17,365.25 while South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.5 percent to 2,037.17. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dipped 0.1 percent to 23,580.50 and the Shanghai Composite index was flat at 3,128.73. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.6 percent to 5,442.80. Markets in Southeast Asia were mixed.

SLOWING GROWTH: The Bank of Korea said South Korea’s third-quarter growth slowed to its lowest level in more than a year, expanding 2.7 percent over a year earlier. Manufacturing saw its largest decline in more than five years thanks to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recalls and a strike at Hyundai Motors. “Korea’s economy lost momentum in the third quarter of 2016, and we expect growth will struggle in the coming quarters due to a combination of rising domestic headwinds and subdued global demand,” Krystal Tan of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

BUSINESS IN U.S., EUROPE: A survey of U.S. manufacturing climbed to its highest level in a year, while a purchasing managers’ index, or PMI, compiled by research firm IHS Markit showed business activity across the eurozone grew at its fastest pace so far this year in October.

ANALYST’S TAKE: “On the data front, PMI manufacturing readings improved for the U.S., Japan and Europe,” Mizuho Bank said in a daily commentary. “This continues to point to ongoing recovery in G3 economies though at a modest pace.”

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks finished higher on Monday as a spate of corporate deal-making over the weekend boosted investor sentiment. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.4 percent to 18,223.03. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 0.5 percent to 2,151.33. Big gains for tech companies, pushed the Nasdaq composite up 1 percent to 5,309.83.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude added 7 cents to $50.59 per barrel in New York. The contract closed 33 cents lower at $50.52 a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 6 cents to $51.39 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 104.46 yen from 104.30 yen. The euro was flat at $1.0875.


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