Asian markets rally again despite weak data

Getty/Massimo Bettiol

Asian markets are mostly higher midway through Thursday’s session following a positive lead from Wall Street.

Fresh from closing at a 15-year high Wednesday, the Nikkei in Japan is up 0.3% while the Shanghai Composite in China, up 40% already this year, is meandering around the flat line despite manufacturing activity slipping to a one-year low in April.

Aside from the ASX 200 — which is off by 0.1% — markets across the rest of the region are higher.

Taiwan’s TAIEX index is putting in an impressive performance, up 1.5%, while the KOSPI in South Korea is the best of the rest, rising 0.9%.

Elsewhere the STI in Singapore, JKSE in Jakarta and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng are all higher by between 0.2% to 0.6%.

On currency markets the New Zealand Dollar has slumped by more than 1% on the back of dovish comments from RBNZ Assistant Governor John McDermott earlier in the session. Following the weak Chinese manufacturing PMI report, both the AUD and EUR are off 0.1% against the USD while the Japanese Yen is flat.

On the economic front markets will receive flash PMI readings from the US, Eurozone, Germany and France, initial jobless claims and new home sales from the States along with UK retail sales this evening.

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