China, Japan stocks fall on data, Nasdaq boosts some markets

AP News
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Posted: Apr 23, 2015 11:25 PM
China, Japan stocks fall on data, Nasdaq boosts some markets

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese and Japanese stocks fell Friday on weaker global manufacturing data while other Asian benchmarks rose after the U.S. Nasdaq index hit a new high.

KEEPING SCORE: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.7 percent to 20,050.99 points and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6 percent to 4,390.40. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2 percent to 5,917.70, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.4 percent to 27,935.92 and Seoul's Kospi added 0.2 percent to 2,178.13. Singapore, Jakarta and New Zealand also advanced.

MANUFACTURING WEAKNESS: A survey by HSBC Corp. found China's manufacturing activity weakened this month to its lowest level in a year in a new sign of economic weakness. A survey of Eurozone manufacturers by Markit Economics found activity slowed from March's four-year high. A similar survey in Japan showed a third straight monthly deceleration, suggesting industries are not fully in recovery from a recession brought on by a sales tax hike in April 2014.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Overall the numbers were disappointing across all regions resulting in renewed concerns around the global economic recovery," said Stan Shamu, a market strategist for IG markets, in a report. "This was a primary driver of weakness in Europe and even dampened some of the optimism we'd been seeing coming from developments around Greece."

NASDAQ RECORD: On Thursday, the Nasdaq rose 20.89 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,056.06, above the record of 5,048.62 it set on March 10, 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble. The Nasdaq today is dominated by Apple Inc., which makes up 9.7 percent of the index, instead of shooting stars such as Pets.com, Geocities or WebVan that flared and died in the dot-com bust. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 percent, while the Standard & Poor's index added 0.2 percent.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude shed 24 cents to $57.50 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.48 on Thursday to close at $57.74. Brent crude, used to price international oils, declined 27 cents to $64.58 in London after gaining $1.12 on Thursday to close at $64.85.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 119.50 yen from Thursday's 119.62 yen. The euro dropped to $1.0788 from $1.0817.