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Asian shares mixed after upbeat China PMI reading

Asian shares were mixed on Monday, with positive Chinese manufacturing figures boosting morning markets until profit-taking sent Hong Kong and Shanghai into the red in the afternoon.

HONG KONG: Asian shares were mixed on Monday, with positive Chinese manufacturing figures boosting morning markets until profit-taking sent Hong Kong and Shanghai into the red in the afternoon.

The early purchasing managers index (PMI) figures from banking giant HSBC added to an upbeat morning for the region, which was already in positive territory after another record close on Wall Street.

Tokyo extended a recent uptrend, adding 0.13 per cent, or 19.86 points, to end at 15,369.28. Sydney gained 0.62 per cent, or 33.8 points, to 5,453.3 and Seoul rose 0.35 per cent, or 6.85 points, to 1,974.92.

However, Hong Kong tumbled 1.68 per cent, or 389.25 points, to 22,804.81 and Shanghai closed down 0.11 per cent, or 2.31 points, at 2,024.37 as dealers took their cash off the table following initial advances.

HSBC said early results showed its PMI of Chinese manufacturing came in at 50.8 this month, up from a final reading of 49.4 in May.

Anything above 50 indicates growth and anything below suggests contraction.

The latest figure is the first time the reading has come in above 50 since December's 50.5, and will raise hopes that a slowdown in the world's second biggest economy has bottomed out.

It also follows a recent spate of data indicating a pick-up in the Asian economic giant after the government introduced some measures to kickstart growth.

"This month's improvement is consistent with data suggesting that the authorities' mini-stimulus are filtering through to the real economy," HSBC said. "We expect policymakers to continue their current path of accommodative policy stance until the recovery is sustained."

The week began on a bright note after US shares on Friday hit new records. The Dow rose 0.15 per cent and the S&P 500 added 0.17 per cent, both ending at new highs, while the Nasdaq climbed 0.20 per cent.

On currency markets the dollar gave up morning gains against the yen.

In Tokyo trade, the greenback fetched 101.88 yen compared with 102.06 yen in New York Friday afternoon.

The euro bought $1.3587 and 138.45 yen against $1.3597 and 138.79 yen

The ongoing unrest in Iraq put further upward pressure on oil prices. Sunni militants advanced in western Iraq and killed 21 people after security forces left several towns, while America's top diplomat called Sunday for the country's leaders to rise above sectarianism.

It was the latest in a series of setbacks for Iraqi forces, which are struggling in the face of an insurgent onslaught that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and sparked fears of a civil war.

The militants seized the towns of Rawa and Ana after taking the Al-Qaim border crossing on Saturday, residents said

On oil markets, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate was up 38 cents at $107.21 and Brent crude gained 49 cents to $115.30.

Gold fetched $1,310.60 an ounce at 1106 GMT in Asia compared with $1,309.77 late Friday.

In other markets:

-- Kuala Lumpur ended flat, down just 0.09 per cent, or 1.76 points, at 1,883.96.

Lafarge Malaysia shed 1.7 per cent to 9.87 ringgit, while budget carrier AirAsia lost 2.6 per cent to 2.24. Axiata Group gained 0.7 per cent to 6.95 ringgit.

-- Singapore closed down 0.04 per cent, or 1.40 points, at 3,257.40.

Real estate developer Capitaland rose 0.31 per cent to Sg$3.23 while DBS Bank eased 0.12 per cent to Sg$16.89.

-- Jakarta closed down 0.11 per cent, or 5.57 points, at 4,842.13.

Bank Permata gained 0.39 per cent to 1,300 rupiah, while state miner Aneka Tambang fell 0.44 per cent to 1,120 rupiah.

-- Taipei eased 0.49 per cent, or 45.44 points, to 9,228.35.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co shed 1.20 per cent to Tw$123.0, while leading chip design house MediaTek was 0.39 per cent higher at Tw$511.0.

-- Wellington fell 0.37 per cent, or 18.87 points, to 5,126.16.

Telecom was down 0.56 per cent at NZ$2.665 and Fletcher Building was steady at NZ$8.82.

-- Manila closed 0.46 per cent higher, adding 31.03 points to 6,761.99.

Philippine Long Distance Telephone edged up 0.07 per cent to 2,862 pesos and Ayala Land jumped 2.49 per cent to 30.90 pesos.

-- Bangkok edged up 0.10 per cent, or 1.41 points, to 1,468.70.

Coal producer Banpu fell 1.72 per cent to 28.50 baht, while mobile operator Advance Info Service added 0.47 per cent to 215.00 baht.

-- Mumbai fell 0.30 per cent, or 74.19 points, to 25,031.32.

Tobacco-to-biscuit conglomerate ITC shed 6.50 per cent to 314.05 rupees, while Kotak Mahindra Bank lost 3.83 per cent to 895.00 rupees.

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