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Asian shares advance as investors shrug off drop in China PMI

Asian shares advance as investors shrug off drop in China PMI

Asian stocks advanced on Monday in late morning trade led by Japanese markets, which reopened after a long weekend, and as investors were unfazed by a drop in Chinese manufacturing.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.9% to 134 as of 11:15 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index surged 2.1% after a three-day weekend and Nikkei share average rose 1.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.1%, while China’s Shanghai Composite Index added 0.6%.

South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.1%, while New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index gained 0.1%. Taiwan’s Taiex index lost 0.1%. Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.9%.

Shares held gains after the China Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings and Markit Economics unexpectedly dropped to 48.1 in March from 48.5 a month earlier.

Investors also watched the development of the Ukraine crisis. Leaders of the US, the European Union, China, Japan and others meet today, with President Barack Obama seeking to mobilise opposition to Russia’s incursion into Crimea.

In corporate news, Macquarie Group Ltd. added 2.8% as Australia’s biggest investment bank said it expects full-year earnings will rise as much as 45%.

Yamato Holdings Co., a parcel delivery company, surged 3.4% in Tokyo on a report it will form a tie with China Post Group.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., Asia’s biggest refiner, fell 0.3% in Hong Kong after its profit missed analyst estimates.

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