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Asia Pacific stocks trade mixed as business sentiment in Japan sours; private survey of Chinese manufacturing activity ahead

Stocks in Asia Pacific edged higher in Wednesday morning trade as the second half of 2020 kicks off.

Shares in South Korea led gains regionally, with the Kospi up 1.02% in early trade.

Meanwhile, the Nikkei 225 in Japan added 0.23% while the Topix index hovered above the flatline.

Over in Australia the S&P/ASX 200 traded fractionally higher.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.2%.

Markets in Hong Kong are closed for trading on Wednesday for a holiday.

The Bank of Japan’s quarterly Tankan survey released Wednesday showed a worsening business mood in the country. The headline index for large manufacturers’ sentiment worsened to -34 in June — its lowest level since June 2009, according to Reuters — as compared with -8 in March.

Investors also await the release of a private survey of Chinese manufacturing activity in June, with the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) expected to be out around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN. The official manufacturing PMI released Tuesday showed factory activity in China expanding in June.

Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 217.08 points, or 0.9%, to close at 25,812.88. The S&P 500 gained 1.5% to end its trading day day at 3,100.29 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.9% to close at 10,058.77. The Tuesday moves stateside left markets wrapping up their best quarterly performance in decades

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 97.395 after falling from levels above 97.5 seen earlier.

The Japanese yen traded at 108.06 per dollar following its weakening from levels below 107.5 earlier in the trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6898 after rising from levels below $0.685 yesterday.

Oil prices edged higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.7% to $41.56 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also added 0.92% to $39.63 per barrel.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China: Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

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