Mainland Chinese stocks jump as the country's June manufacturing activity beats expectations

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

Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher on the day, with the Shenzhen component jumping 2.042% to approximately 11,992.35 while the Shanghai composite was up 0.78% to about 2,984.67. 

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.25%, as of its final hour of trading, with shares of life insurer AIA falling 1.17%. The moves came after China passed a controversial national security law for the city. Chinese officials are set to hold a media briefing regarding the security law on Wednesday morning local time.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 1.33% to close at 22,288.14, following its more than 2% slide on Monday. The Topix index also added 0.62% to finish its trading day at 1,558.77. In South Korea, the Kospi closed 0.71% higher at 2,108.33.

Meanwhile, the S&P/ASX 200 in Australia added 1.43% to end its trading day at 5,897.90.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index rose 0.62%.

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.” 

“We’ve seen a good sweep of data, macro data in particular, over the past few weeks coming out of the U.S., the euro zone and China and I think this Chinese data just reiterates the fact that we’re seeing a faster than expected improvement from a macro perspective,” Cedric Chehab, head of country risk and global strategy at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC’s “Capital Connection” on Tuesday. He added that there’s currently a “tug-of-war” in the markets between the improving macro data and “deteriorating” coronavirus data.

“If we start to see the number of infections continue to rise very quickly and localized lockdowns starting to become more strict and blanket lockdowns across the U.S. or in other countries, then I think that would set up more risks for … a much larger correction in equity markets,” Chehab said.

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 97.66 after earlier touching a low of 97.389.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.65 per dollar after weakening sharply from levels below 107.5 yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.6852 after touching an earlier high of $0.6885.

Oil prices declined in the afternoon of Asian trading hours on Tuesday, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.89% to $41.34 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 1.13% to $39.25 per barrel.

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