4/6/2016, 7:40 AM (Source: TeleTrader)
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Asian market update: Stocks stronger on Chinese PMI data

Stock markets in Asia-Pacific saw a day of muted trade on Wednesday, and turned mostly positive as investors' attention turned to Chinese economy on latest economic data and with background of rising oil prices.

The key Nikkei 225 index dropped 0.11% to 15,715 points, and the Topix index was down 0.07% to 1,265 points, with some pressure lifted from their shoulders after yen fell back. Major exporters, like Honda, Nissan and Toyota saw their shares rising, but Sony was on the losing side.

In China, the main Shanghai SSE index was down 0.09% at 3,050 points, and the smaller Shenzhen Composite added 0.34% to 1,957 points. Sinopec rose over 7%. In Hong Kong, the HSI added 0.13% to 20,205, all by 7:25 a.m. CET. The Taiwan's Taiex was down 1.63% at 8,516 points.

Business activity has accelerated in China in March, thanks to stronger growth in services sector, according to the Caixin China Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) published on Wednesday. The Caixin PMI stood at 51.3 points, compared to 49.4 in February, which indicates the strongest expansion of overall business activity in the last 11 months. Services sector PMI rose to 52.2 points in March from 51.2 in February.

The main Korean index Kospi rose 0.42% to 1,970 points, while the Kosdaq fell 0.24% to 6954 points. Anbang Insurance Group will take over Allianz Life Insurance Korea for 250 billion won. Anbang previously acquired Tongyang Life in September. The Chinese insurance group recently withdrawn offer to buy Starwood hotel chain.

In Singapore, the STI rose 0.32% to 2,809 points. Telecom company SingTel partnered with Inmarsat to offer its cybersecurity tools embedded hardware for all-important maritime sector, sending the Singapore Telecommunications Limited's shares up 0.27%.

Earlier, the Sydney's S&P/ASX All Ordinaries index closed up 0.3% at 5,016 points, with energy companies such as Santos, Inpex and Woodside seeing decent gains. The Wellington's gauge S&P/NZX 50 added 0.27% to 6,734 points.

The U.S. crude oil WTI for May delivery traded up 3.09% at $36.84 a barrel, and Brent for delivery in June was up 2.25% at $38.56 a barrel.

Breaking the News / ZR