Asian shares mixed on Greece and China concerns

<p>China’s manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in seven months.</p>

Asian shares were mixed today (December 31st) on the last trading day of 2014, with several markets already shut for the New Year holiday.

Falling oil prices and concerns over Greece after the parliament on Monday (December 29th) rejected the ruling party’s nominee for president continued to dampen sentiment.

The Benchmark Brent fell 44 cents to $57.46 (£37) a barrel today on weak Chinese manufacturing data.

Activity in China's manufacturing sector contracted for the first time in seven months in December, with the final PMI reading from HSBC coming in at 49.6, down from 50.0 in November.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite index soared 2.18 per cent to 3,234.68, ending the year up more than 50 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.44 per cent to 23,605.04.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.1 per cent down at 5,411 and New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 index ended 0.16 per cent lower at 5,568.28.

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