Asia Markets

Asia stocks rise as private survey shows China's factory activity growth hit 10-year high

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Key Points
  • The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for November came in at 54.9 — its highest reading in a decade.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday held steady on its policy settings.

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were higher on Tuesday as investors reacted to the release of a private survey of China's manufacturing activity.

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index for November came in at 54.9 — its highest reading in a decade. PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below that level represent contraction.

On Monday, the official manufacturing PMI for November came in at 52.1, according to the National Bureau of Statistics — the highest reading in more than three years.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher by their Tuesday close: The Shanghai composite gained 1.77% to about 3,451.94 while the Shenzhen component rose 1.904% to around 13,930.37. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added around 0.9%, as of its final hour of trading.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 1.34% to close at 26,787.54 while the Topix index added 0.77% to end its trading day at 1,768.38. South Korea's Kospi closed 1.66% higher at 2,634.25.

Shares in Australia also rose, as the S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.08% to finish its trading day at 6,588.50.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.26%.

RBA holds rates

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) on Tuesday held steady on its rates.

"For its part, the Board will not increase the cash rate until actual inflation is sustainably within the 2 to 3 per cent target range," RBA Governor Philip Lowe said in a statement. "The Board will keep the size of the bond purchase program under review, particularly in light of the evolving outlook for jobs and inflation. The Board is prepared to do more if necessary."

Following that announcement, the Australian dollar was at $0.7364 after declining from levels around $0.74 yesterday.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 91.757 after seeing an earlier high of 91.945.

The Japanese yen traded at 104.31 per dollar following a weakening yesterday from levels below 104 against the greenback.

Oil prices were lower in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.61% to $47.59 per barrel. U.S. crude futures fell 0.6% to $45.07 per barrel.