BEIJING – Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday after Wall Street began a post-holiday week on a lackluster note.
Shares rose in Tokyo and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong, Shanghai and South Korea. A weakening in growth in Chinese manufacturing, based on surveys of factory managers, has undermined buying sentiment.
Market players are looking ahead to U.S. jobs data, which are also likely to show growth. They’re also keeping an eye on comments by Federal Reserve officials on inflation, a concern overhanging markets as economies regain momentum with the rollout of coronavirus vaccines, especially in the United States.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 0.4% in morning trading to 28,932.04. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9% to 7,210.90. South Korea's Kospi edged less than 0.1% lower to 3,150.07. Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.6% to 29,284.51, while the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.7% to 3,601.24.
India's Sensex declined 0.4%. Shares fell in Taiwan and Singapore, but advanced in Jakarta.
Economies are bouncing back rapidly from the damage and disruptions caused by the pandemic, analysts say.
“The speed of recovery bears little resemblance to those from past downturns, which should give some hope that less economic scarring will result,” RaboResearch said in a market commentary.
Progress lags in Japan and much of Asia, where vaccination programs have lagged, though they are beginning to pick up speed even as many countries grapple with severe coronavirus outbreaks.