Asian Shares Lower on US Manufacturing Data

ASX 200
CNBC 100

Asian shares slipped on Tuesday after a plunge in U.S. manufacturing activity hit Wall Street stocks despite optimism over Greece's plan to buy back debt.

The Institute for Supply Management said its manufacturing index fell to 49.5 in November, the weakest since July 2009 - marking a contraction in the sector. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a reading of 51.3.

The FTSE CNBC Asia 100 Index fell 0.1 percent at 5,871.24.

Japan's Nikkei average slipped, retreating from a seven-month closing high hit in the previous session, as weak U.S. data triggered profit-taking on exporters, which have lately enjoyed a sharp bounce on a softer yen.

The Nikkei ended 0.3 percent lower at 9,432.46 points. The broader Topix index was flat at 781.97.

Among exporters headed lower on Tuesday were Canon, Nikon, Nissan Motor and TDK, down between 0.9 and 3.7 percent.

Sharp, however, gained 1.2 percent after two sources familiar with the matter said it and U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm have agreed to jointly develop next-generation displays.

Mobile operator Softbank advanced 0.5 percent, while the food sector added 0.6 percent.

South Korean shares trimmed early losses to end only slightly lower on Tuesday, as retail investors stepped up buying.

The Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) ended down 0.25 percent at 1,935.18 points.

Heavyweights ended the session lower after choppy trade, with Hyundai Motor edging down 0.2 percent. Samsung Electronics finished flat.

Australian shares slipped 0.6 percent, weakening further after the central bank cut interest rates a quarter point to a record-matching low.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) cut its main cash rate to 3.0 percent following its monthly policy meeting, bringing the easing since May to 125 basis points and matching the trough hit during the darkest days of the global financial crisis.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 27.9 points to 4,503.6, according to the latest data. It rose 0.6 percent on Monday to a five-week high.

Top miner BHP Billiton fell 0.8 percent, and rival Rio Tinto slipped 0.2 percent.

Major banks all lost ground after the rate cut, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia declining 0.5 percent and Wespac losing 0.6 percent.

Department store Myer jumped as much as 4 percent before the rate cut, but ended flat. Smaller rival David Jones edged up 0.4 percent.

Shares in GrainCorp jumped 3.2 percent, after U.S. agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland raised its takeover bid for the grains handling company.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.8 percent to 4,015.7.

China's main stock index closed up, off the previous day's four-year closing low, boosted by a rebound in white spirits makers.

The Shanghai Composite Index closed at up 0.8 percent at 1,975.1 points, while the CSI300 Index of the top Shanghai and Shenzhen listings rose 1.1 percent.

Jiugui Liquor, which local media said contained excessive amount of toxic materials in its products, jumped to its 10 percent daily limit after the firm said it will completely replace its equipment.

Hong Kong shares pared losses to end slightly higher as investors, encouraged by a bounce in China's domestic markets from four-year-lows, bought into large-cap energy and telecommunications stocks.

The benchmark Hang Seng index ended the day up 0.2 percent at 21,799.97 points while the China Enterprises index of top locally listed mainland shares rose 0.6 percent.

The Chinese telecom sector was the best performer in Hong Kong led by heavyweight China Mobile which ended up 1.4 percent.

Casino stocks were on the backfoot as investors locked in profits a day after Macau's gambling revenue in November came in line with expectations amid growing fears that Chinese authorities were stepping up scrutiny of money transfers in Macau as part of a wider anti-corruption campaign. Galaxy Entertainment slumped 4.5 percent while Wynn Macau slid 5.5 percent.

In India, the benchmark Sensex index rose 0.2 percent at 19,342.02

In Southeast Asia, Singapore's Straits Times Index fell 0.1 percent, while Malaysia's benchmark index closed flat.