KEY POINTS
  • The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for May came in at 52, higher than April’s reading of 51.9.
  • Malaysia’s prime minister on Monday announced an additional 40 billion ringgit stimulus package, just hours before stricter lockdown measures to curb the Covid spread in the country were set to kick in.

(CNBC)/SINGAPORE — Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets were mixed in Tuesday trade, as investors reacted to the release of a private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity in May.

Mainland Chinese stocks were mixed by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.11% and the Shenzhen component fractionally higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.43%.

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for May came in at 52, higher than expectations for a reading of 51.9 by analysts in a Reuters poll. The figure for May also compared against April’s reading of 51.9.

The official manufacturing PMI for May, released Monday, came in 51.0 — slightly lower than analyst expectations for a reading of 51.1 in a Reuters poll.

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.

Mixed Asia-Pacific markets

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped sat below the flatline in afternoon trade while the Topix index edged 0.15% higher. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.58%.

Shares in Australia slipped, with the S&P/ASX 200 declining fractionally. The Reserve Bank of Australia on Tuesday announced its decision to hold steady on its current policy settings, including keeping the cash rate at 0.1%.

MSCi’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.43%.

Over in Southeast Asia, the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI Index slipped around 0.2%. Malaysia’s prime minister on Monday announced an additional 40 billion ringgit (about $9.7 billion) stimulus package, just hours before stricter lockdown measures to curb the Covid spread in the country were set to kick in.

TICKER COMPANY NAME PRICE CHANGE %CHANGE
.N225 Nikkei 225 Index NIKKEI 28814.34 -45.74 -0.16
.HSI Hang Seng Index HSI 29421.27 269.47 0.92
.AXJO S&P/ASX 200 ASX 200 7142.60 -19.00 -0.27
.SSEC Shanghai SHANGHAI 3624.71 9.24 0.26
.KS11 KOSPI Index KOSPI 3221.87 17.95 0.56
.FTFCNBCA CNBC 100 ASIA IDX CNBC 100 11167.20 80.66 0.73

Oil prices jump

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 1.27% to $70.20 per barrel. U.S. crude futures advanced 1.96% to $67.62 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.803 — falling below the 90 level again.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.49 per dollar, stronger than levels above 110 against the greenback seen late last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7741, still below levels above $0.776 seen last week