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Hong Kong stocks fall 1% as official data shows China factory activity unexpectedly contracting

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific traded mixed on Thursday morning as investors reacted to the release of Chinese factory activity data for September.

Mainland Chinese stocks advanced, with the Shanghai composite up 0.45% while the Shenzhen component jumped 1.033%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, on the other hand, fell 1.12%.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for September came in at 49.6, below expectations for a reading of 50.1 by analysts in a Reuters poll.

PMI reading below 50 represent contraction while those above that level signify expansion. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

Meanwhile, a private survey on Chinese factory activity in September came in above expectations, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for the month rising to 50 for the month as compared with August’s reading 49.2.

The September factory activity readings come as China continues grappling with a power crunch.

Hong Kong-listed shares of developer China Evergrande fell more than 3% in Thursday morning trade as Reuters reported that some bondholders did not receive a due coupon payment by the close of Asia business hours on Wednesday.

Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 90.73 points higher to 34,390.72 while the S&P 500 gained 0.16% to 4,359.46. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.24% to 14,512.44.

The moves came as investors continued watching the 10-year Treasury yield, which crossed the 1.5% level on Monday and has since remained above that mark, last sitting at 1.508%. Yields move inversely to prices.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.312 following a recent climb from below 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.80 per dollar, having weakened from below 111.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7193 after falling from above $0.728 earlier this week.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.14% to $78.53 per barrel. U.S. crude futures shed 0.13% to $74.73 per barrel.

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