Asian stocks mostly higher despite weak China PMI

<p>Markets in the region were boosted by Japanese shares.</p>

Asian stocks were mostly up today (April 23rd) despite a private survey showing China's manufacturing activity is at a one-year low. HSBC's preliminary reading of China's factory activity for April came in at 49.2, which is below a Reuters forecast of a 49.6 score.

However, markets in the region were boosted by Japanese shares, which gained on a weaker yen, and by technology companies, with Nomura Holdings Inc. adding 2.9 per cent and Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. rising 14 per cent in Hong Kong. 

“The world is awash with easy money,”  Ayako Sera, a Tokyo-based market strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Ltd., told Bloomberg. "With negative yields creeping up in Europe, there’s no place to leave cash. In Japan, while yields aren’t negative, they’re very low. So among the lousy options, putting cash into stocks seems like a reasonable choice."

Japan's Nikkei 225 closed above the 20,000 mark for the second consecutive day, gaining 0.3 per cent to 20,202.08. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index added 0.4 per cent to 28,040.37 and South Korea's Kospi gained 0.8 percent to 2,160.90. However, Australia's S&P ASX/200 edged down 0.1 per cent to 5,831.60.

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