Asian shares finished higher Tuesday despite disappointing economic data coming out of China.
Shanghai’s SSE rose 1.7 percent to end at 2,733 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 increased 0.4 percent to finish at 16,086. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 1.6 percent to close at 19,407.
China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index for February came in at 49, its weakest reading since January 2009, China’s National Bureau of Statistics said Tuesday. Numbers below 50 indicate a contraction. Meanwhile, China’s non-manufacturing PMI fell to its lowest point in more than seven years with a reading of 52.7, down from 53.5 in January. The services sector had been outperforming the factory PMI until February. The numbers likely raised investors’ hopes that China might implement stimulus measures. Also, The People’s Bank of China said Monday it cut its reserve-requirement ratio, or the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, by 50 basis points.
The Chinese New Year holiday fell in the first half of February this year, impacting economic productivity.
Gainers included Shiseido, which gained 2.4 percent to close at 2,518 yen; and Chow Tai Fook, which rose 4.7 percent to finish at 4.87 yen. Isetan Mitsukoshi advanced 2.4 percent 1,343 yen.
On the losing side, Global Brands had a particularly rough session. Its shares slumped 5.4 percent to end at 0.87 Hong Kong dollars. Fast Retailing edged down 0.1 percent to finish at 31,310 yen.