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Asia markets mixed; China’s official manufacturing PMI shows expansion in May

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Monday trade, as investors reacted to the release of China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed, with the Shanghai composite shedding 0.2% while the Shenzhen component rose 0.351%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.5%.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 51.0. That compared against analyst expectations for a reading of 51.1 in a Reuters poll. The May figure was also a slight decrease from the previous month’s reading of 51.1.

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

Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 1.11% while the Topix index shed 1.22%.

Japan’s retail sales rose 12% in April as compared with a year earlier, according to government data released Monday .That was against a median market forecast for a 15.3% rise, according to Reuters.

South Korea’s Kospi edged fractionally lower. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.1%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.36%.

Malaysia markets drop

Markets in the U.S. are closed on Monday for a holiday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.013 after a recent spike to levels above 90.3.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.68 per dollar, after weakening late last week to levels above 110 against the greenback. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7722, lower than levels above $0.776 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.6% to $69.13 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also gained 0.66% to $66.76 per barrel.

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