Asia Shares Dip as Private Survey Shows Chinese Services Activity Improves

Friday’s trading in Asia was mixed, with Chinese benchmarks falling despite a report showing an uptick in services activity in China in January according to the Caixin purchasing managers’ index.

At 9:27 a.m. (Thai time), the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong had dropped 1.76%, leading to regional losses. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.12%.

A better-than-expected reading from the au Jibun Bank Japan Services Purchasing Managers’ Index for January boosted the Japanese stock market, sending the Nikkei 225 up by 0.57%.

The Kospi index in South Korea saw a slight decline in trading.

The S&P/ASX 200 index in Australia gained 0.28% after traders digested data showing a 4.3% drop in December new housing loan commitments.

Overnight in the US, technology stocks led a rise on Wall Street, helping to boost key indexes. After a better-than-expected earnings release, Meta soared 23%, its highest day since 2013.

A private sector survey released on Friday showed that business confidence in China is around 12-year highs, as a result of the rebound in the country’s services sector in January after a five-month slump. This growth was driven by an increase in consumer spending and travel following the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions.

In January, the Caixin/S&P Global services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) increased to 52.9 from December’s 48.0, above the 50-point threshold that implies expansion in activity.

Meanwhile, the au Jibun Bank Japan services purchasing managers’ index was 52.3 in January, a tad higher than the prior reading of 51.1 in December.