SINGAPORE – Stocks in Asia-Pacific were mixed on Thursday, as several markets in the region closed early for New Years Eve.
Mainland Chinese stocks surged that day: the Shanghai composite climbed 1.72% to 3,473.07 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.895% to 14,470.68. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 0.31% to 27,231.13.
China announced Thursday that its factory activity increased in December. The country’s official manufacturing purchasing managers (PMI) index for December is 51.9, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics. Analysts expected December’s figure to reach 52, according to Reuters.
This was a slight decline from the November reading of 52.1. Still, December’s figure was above the 50 level that separates expansion from contraction.
China and the European Union also agreed to an investment deal on Wednesday that will give European companies better access to Chinese markets, Reuters reported.
In Australia, the S & P / ASX 200 slipped 1.43% to 6,587.10. Singapore’s Straits Times index also fell 0.89% to 2,843.81.
The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan gained 0.19%.
Markets in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong closed earlier than usual on Thursday due to New Years Eve.
The Japanese and South Korean markets were closed Thursday for a holiday.
Currencies and oil
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 89.618 after a recent slide from levels above 90.
The Japanese yen traded at 103.13 to the dollar, after strengthening from levels above 103.8 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $ 0.7701 after rising from levels below $ 0.76 earlier in the trading week.
Oil prices saw moderate movements in the afternoon of trading hours in Asia, with international benchmark Brent futures showing little change at $ 51.62 per barrel. US crude futures fell slightly to $ 48.36 per barrel.