Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led losses regionally, declining about 1.2%, as of its final hour of trading.
A private survey released Thursday showed slowing Chinese services activity growth in May. The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 55.1 on Thursday, lower than the reading of 56.3 in April. Still, that was well above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.
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.
South Korea’s Kospi closed 0.72% higher at 3,247.43.
Elsewhere in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.39% to close at 29,058.11 while the Topix index ended the trading day 0.84% higher at 1,958.70.
Shares in Australia also closed higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 climbing 0.59% to 7,260.10. Australia’s retail sales rose 1.1% month-on-month in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released Thursday by the country’s Bureau of Statistics.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.23%.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 90.107 following an earlier low of 89.887.
The Japanese yen traded at 109.78 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.5 seen against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7721, having climbed from levels around $0.772 yesterday.