|Asian shares mostly up on China manufacturing data
Asian markets mostly rose Thursday as an index of Chinese manufacturing activity hit an 18-month high in July, boosting hopes for the world's number two economy, as concerns over the Ukraine crisis eased.
The euro fell to fresh multi-month lows against the dollar and yen as investors fretted over the impact of sanctions on Russia over its links to rebels in Ukraine who have been blamed with shooting down a Malaysian airliner.
Shanghai rallied 1.28 percent, or 26.57 points, to 2,105.06 and Hong Kong jumped 0.71 percent, or 169.63 points, to 24,141.50.
Sydney recorded its seventh straight gain, rising 0.20 percent, or 11.1 points, to close at 5587.8.
But Tokyo slipped 0.29 percent, or 44.14 points, to 15,284.42 and Seoul ended marginally lower, dipping 1.70 points to end at 2,026.62.
Banking giant HSBC said its preliminary purchasing managers index of manufacturing activity for this month jumped to 52.0 from a final reading of 50.7 in June.
The result suggests a recent slate of small stimulus measures by the government is gaining traction.
Anything above 50 points to growth and a number below suggests contraction in the Asian economic giant and key driver of regional and global growth.
"Economic activity continues to improve in July, suggesting that the cumulative impact of mini-stimulus measures introduced earlier is still filtering through,'' HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said in a statement.
"We expect policy makers to maintain their accommodative stance over the next few months to consolidate the recovery." -AFP