Asian equities were mixed on Thursday in a quiet session with several markets shut for the ‘May 1’ public holiday, including China, South Korea and Hong Kong.
Focus was on China’s official purchase manufacturing index (PMI), which rose to 50.4 in April. The reading was slightly better than March’s official figure of 50.3 and HSBC’s preliminary April reading of 48.3. Still, it missed analyst estimates for a 50.5 reading.
Gains on Wall Street overnight helped to lift sentiment in Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average hit its first record close of the year after the Federal Reserve reduced its monthly bond buying program by another $10 billion, its fourth consecutive cut.
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