Asian stocks mixed after China factories, Wall Street gains

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stock markets were mixed Thursday after Wall Street rose on a stronger estimate of U.S. economic growth and Chinese factory activity improved.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.4 percent to 3,350.44 while Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent to 19,652. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng shed 0.4 percent to 27,978.42 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 advanced 0.5 percent to 5,700.10. Seoul’s Kospi lost 0.3 percent to 2,365.22 and Manila also fell while New Zealand, Taiwan and other Southeast Asian benchmarks rose.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks climbed as investors cheered a report of stronger economic growth. Investor concerns about tensions between the U.S. and North Korea appeared to ease and stocks moved higher as the day progressed. Along with technology companies and consumer-focused firms, health care companies and banks finished higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index climbed 0.5 percent to 2,457.59. The Dow Jones industrial average picked up 0.1 percent to 21,892.43. The Nasdaq composite gained 1.1 percent, to 6,368.31 as technology companies rose for the third day in a row.

US UPGRADE: The Commerce Department raised its estimate for second-quarter economic growth to 3 percent from 2.6 percent — the fastest pace in two years. The estimate is much better than the first quarter, when growth was 1.2 percent. Meanwhile, private businesses added 237,000 jobs in August with broad gains across several industries including construction, manufacturing and leisure and hospitality, according to a survey by payroll processor ADP.

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ANALYST’S TAKE: “Market sentiment was given a lift by an upward revision to 2Q17 US GDP growth driven by consumer spending,” said Rob Carnell of ING in a report. He also pointed to a rise in August employment numbers from payroll processor ADP and an upward revision to July data. “Although economic data are positive for markets, politics, both domestic and international, continues to cast an ugly cloud,” said Carnell. He cited the Trump administration’s threat to shut government and its stance toward North Korea. “But with a wall of money looking for somewhere to park, the economic news is likely to trump geopolitics for the moment unless the situation worsens.”

CHINA MANUFACTURING: An official gauge of Chinese factory activity improved for a 13th straight month in August. The preliminary…

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