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Shares in Asia mostly higher, Shanghai gains on MSCI inclusion

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Shares in Asia mostly higher, Shanghai gains on MSCI inclusion

Chinese shares gained solidly on Tuesday ahead of a move into a key MSCI index and as investors await manufacturing data this week.
Chinese stocks rose the most in two months as the possible inclusion of China in the MSCI EM Index next month boosted market sentiment.

The Shanghai Composite gained 2.43% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.82%.
The yuan was barely changed against the dollar Tuesday morning even though the People’s Bank of China set the fixing slightly weaker. The fixing was the weakest level since end February 2011 for a second consecutive day at 6.5790 Tuesday, compared with Monday’s mid point of 6.5784.

The S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.17%, while the Nikkei 225 rose 0.68 after a fairly busy data day in both countries.In Australia, building approvals rose 3.0% for April, well above the expected down 3.0% month-on-month.

The current account for the first quarter reached a deficit of A$20.8 billion, wider than the deficit of A$19.5 billion seen. Also in the line up, private house approvals for April fell 2.3% and private sector credit gained 0.5%, better than the 0.4% gain seen month-on-month.

Earlier in Japan, household spending for April rose 0.2%, better than a 0.6% drop seen month-on-month. As well, the unemployment rate held steady at 3.2% as expected, while provisional industrial production for April rose 0.3%, better than the expected down 1.5% month-on-month.

Fiscal 2016 began with slower-than-expected wage hikes set for workers at major firms, keeping households generally cautious with the latest data suggesting some spending momentum.
U.S. markets were shut on Monday for a public holiday.

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