Japan up nearly 2% as Asia Pacific stocks rise; China’s June manufacturing activity beats expectations

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose in Tuesday morning trade as China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index for June came in above expectations.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 1.84% in morning trade, following its more than 2% slide on Monday. The Topix index also added 1.29%. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 1.6%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 1.06%. Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher, with the Shanghai composite up around 0.3% while the 

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia added 1.41%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded 0.92% higher.

China’s official manufacturing PMI for June came in at 50.9, according to data released by the country’s National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Economists in a Reuters poll had a median forecast of 50.4 for the data print. PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below that indicate contraction.

In May, the official manufacturing PMI was at 50.6, according to the NBS.

Meanwhile, Japan’s industrial production in May dropped 8.4% month-on-month, according to data released Tuesday in a preliminary report by the country’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. That was a larger decline than a median market forecast of a 5.6% fall by economists in a Reuters poll.

Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic will also continue to be watched, with World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu warning Monday that “the worst is yet to come.”

“Although many countries have made some progress, globally, the pandemic is actually speeding up,” he said during a virtual news conference from the agency’s Geneva headquarters. “We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives, but the hard reality is that this is not even close to being over.” 

The Tuesday moves in Asia Pacific followed an overnight surge for stocks on Wall Street that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing more than 500 points higher.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.484 after earlier touching a low of 97.389.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.69 per dollar after weakening sharply from levels below 107.5 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6871 after dipping to levels around $0.685 yesterday.

Oil prices declined in the morning of Asian trading hours on Tuesday, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.62% to $41.45 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.73% to $39.41 per barrel.

— CNBC’s William Feuer, Jasmine Kim and Huileng Tan contributed to this report.