Asian markets were mixed in early trading Thursday, following a day of gains on Wall Street.

Preliminary data Wednesday showed Japan’s manufacturing activity shrank for a fourth consecutive month, according to Reuters. The Jibun Bank Flash Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index rose to a seasonally adjusted 49.5 in August from 49.4 in July. Readings below 50 signify contraction.

Japan’s Nikkei

NIK, -0.01%

  fell out of positive territory and was last about flat, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index

HSI, -0.87%

  fell 0.8%. The Shanghai Composite

SHCOMP, -0.18%

  slipped 0.2% and the Shenzhen Composite

399106, -0.04%

  was about flat. South Korea’s Kospi

180721, -0.33%

  fell 0.4%, while benchmark indexes in Taiwan

Y9999, -0.02%

 , Singapore

STI, +0.12%

  and Indonesia

JAKIDX, -0.42%

  were mixed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200

XJO, +0.38%

  rose 0.4%.

Among individual stocks, SoftBank

9984, -1.58%

  fell in Tokyo trading, while Sony

6758, -2.15%

  and Renesas Electronics

6723, -2.20%

  slipped as well. In Hong Kong, Geely Automobile

175, +5.25%

  surged, while AAC

2018, -2.72%

  and Wharf Real Estate

1997, -1.43%

  declined. Samsung

005930, -0.67%

  dropped in South Korea, while Apple supplier Largan Precision

3008, +1.96%

  gained in Taiwan. In Australia, Beach Energy

BPT, +3.72%

  and Fortescue Metals

FMG, +1.99%


On Wednesday, U.S. stocks finished higher after minutes from Federal Reserve’s July meeting offered few surprises and suggested that the central bank wanted to remain flexible in implementing policy changes.

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