Most Asian stocks gained on Monday in late morning trade as investors weighed whether Chinese policy makers will add stimulus after reports showing slower manufacturing growth.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.2% to 148 as of 10:55 a.m. in Tokyo. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rallied 0.5%. China’s Shanghai Composite Index, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and Japan’s Topix index gained 0.3%. Taiwan’s Taiex index advanced 0.9%.
New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index fell 0.2% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed.
European Union governments agreed to impose new sanctions on Russia if the conflict in Ukraine worsens.
In China, two gauges of manufacturing industry missed estimates. China’s Purchasing Managers’ Index was at 51.1 for August, the National Bureau of Statistics and China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said today in Beijing, missing the median 51.2 estimate in a Bloomberg News survey and compared with 51.7 in July. The final reading of a similar gauge from HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics came in at 50.2, versus the 50.3 predicted by economists.
In corporate news, Samsung Heavy Industries Co. and Samsung Engineering Co. each gained at least 5.3% after the companies said they’ll merge by the end of the year.
Hitachi Zosen Corp. jumped 9.8% after Mizuho Securities Co. raised its rating on the Japanese shipbuilder.
Nisshin Steel Co. slumped 5.7% in Tokyo after saying it will sell treasury shares.