China’s upbeat manufacturing data, Apple’s and Hyundai disappointing earnings, Japan’s record deficit and North Korea’s vows to boost its nuclear tests brought volatility in Asia, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index falling 0.1% to 131.90 at 15:05 in Tokyo.
Manufacturing in China is expanding at the fastest rate since January 2011, improving the outlook for global growth. The preliminary reading of HSBC’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was 51.9 in January from 51.5 final reading in December.
However, nervousness was caused by North Korea’s vows to boost its nuclear tests after the UN Security Council voted to expand the existing sanctions against Pyongyang. This is increasing tensions not only in the region but on the global scale as well.
Moreover, South Korea’s car manufacturer Hyundai Motor reported weaker than expected fourth quarter profits, while tech giant Apple reported its weakest sales since 2009 and its slowest profit expansion since 2003 amid growing competition, dragging its suppliers lower.
Nikkei 225 rose 1.28% to 10620.87 and Topix rose 1.11% to 897.62 driven by the exporters after the yen weakened following Japan’s record $78 billion deficit seen in 2012, while exports fell 5.8% in December.
South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.80% to 1964.48 driven by the auto stocks following Hyundai’s disputing profits, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.15% to 23598.90 and China’s CSI 300 fell 0.95% to 2582.75 amid nuclear threats from North Korea.
Australia S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.47% to 4810.22 after China’s upbeat manufacturing data boosted local miners. New Zealand’s NZX 50 rose 0.05% to 4189.91, while markets in Malaysia and Indonesia are closed for holiday.
India’s BSE Sensex 30 index fell 0.28% to 19971.44. Singapore`s FTSE Strait Times rose 0.55% to 3249.04. Philippine’s PSEi rose 0.41% to 6117.27. Thailand’s main index rose today 0.68% to 1449.04.