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Asia Stocks Rise After Private Survey Shows Growth in China's Services Activity

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  • Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets rose on Wednesday, as a private survey showed accelerating Chinese services activity growth in July.
  • The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index for July came in at 54.9 on Wednesday, up from June's reading of 50.3.

SINGAPORE — Shares in major Asia-Pacific markets rose on Wednesday, as a private survey showed accelerating Chinese services activity growth in July.

Mainland Chinese stocks closed higher, with the Shenzhen component advancing 1.72% to 14,990.11 while the Shanghai composite gaining 0.85% to 3,477.22.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 0.88% higher at 26,426.55, with shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent jumping 2.42% after seeing heavy losses yesterday.

The Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers' Index for July came in at 54.9 on Wednesday, up from June's reading of 50.3.

PMI readings above 50 represent expansion, while those below that level signal contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contractions.

South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.34% to finish the trading day at 3,280.38. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.38% to close at 7,503.20.

Stocks in Japan declined as the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.21% to close at 27,584.08 while the Topix index shed 0.5% to finish the trading day at 1,921.43.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.94%.

Political uncertainty in Malaysia

Malaysian stocks led losses regionally as the country continued to face political uncertainty, with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI index declining 0.62% in Wednesday afternoon trade.

Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin claimed Wednesday that he continues to command majority support among lawmakers, despite calls from several of his own allies and the opposition for him to step down.

Overnight on Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 0.82% to a new record closing high of 4,423.15 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 278.24 points to 35,116.40. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.55% to about 14,761.30.

Currencies and oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.15 — against an earlier low of 91.957.

The Japanese yen traded at 109.19 per dollar, having strengthened from levels above 109.6 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7419, higher than levels below $0.735 seen earlier in the trading week.

Oil prices were higher in the afternoon of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures falling 0.17% to $72.29 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also slipped 0.37% to $70.30 per barrel.

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