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Pedestrians walk past a quotation board displaying the Nikkei key index in Tokyo on September 19, 2013/AFP

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Asian shares mixed, Shanghai up on China factory data

Pedestrians walk past a quotation board displaying the Nikkei key index in Tokyo on September 19, 2013/AFP

Pedestrians walk past a quotation board displaying the Nikkei key index in Tokyo on September 19, 2013/AFP

HONG KONG, September 23 – Asian shares were mixed Monday after last week’s rallies, but Shanghai saw healthy gains after better than expected Chinese manufacturing data signalled a rebound in the world’s second largest economy.

Investors took their money off the table after last week’s huge gains fuelled by the US Federal Reserve’s surprise decision to leave its stimulus programme unchanged.

Shanghai jumped 1.33 percent, or 29.19 points, to 2,221.04 but Hong Kong eased 0.56 percent, or 130.97 points, to 23,371.54 in shortened trade due to Typhoon Usagi.

Seoul gained 0.19 percent, or 3.83 points, to end at 2,009.41, while Sydney was down 0.46 percent, or 24.2 points, at 5,252.5.

Tokyo was shut for a public holiday.

China’s manufacturing activity expanded in September to a six-month high, banking giant HSBC said, a further sign that a recovery is gaining steam on improving demand.

HSBC said its preliminary purchasing managers’ index for the manufacturing sector in China hit 51.2 in September, the highest since March when the index stood at 51.6.

It was higher than last month’s final reading of 50.1, which improved from an 11 month low of 47.7 in July and ended three months of contraction, according to the bank. Anything above 50 is considered growth while a reading below indicates contraction.

Stock markets across the globe jumped last week following the Fed’s announcement that it would delay tapering its $85 billion a month bond buying scheme.

Developing economies such as Indonesia, the Philippines and India breathed a sigh of relief after suffering a heavy sell off in August as investors bet on the Fed winding down its quantitative easing (QE) policy.

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The euro rose against the dollar after German Chancellor Angela Merkel clinched her third term in a stunning election victory.

“The election has gripped international interest as the eurozone is coming out of a recession, and continuity is what the markets favour,” Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, said in a note.

The single currency bought $1.3530, compared with $1.3524 in New York late Friday. It bought 133.80 yen from 134.36 yen.

The US dollar dipped to 98.98 yen from 99.35 yen.

Wall Street’s Friday lead was weak, with US traders growing concerned about another budget and debt ceiling standoff on Capitol Hill.

The Dow fell 1.19 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.72 percent and the Nasdaq lost 0.39 percent.

On oil markets, New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November fell 21 cents to $104.54. Brent North Sea crude for November eased 25 cents to $108.97.

Gold cost $1,326.50 at 0810 GMT compared with $1,357.15 Friday.

In other markets:

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Taipei rose 1.02 percent, or 83.65 points, to 8,292.83.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co climbed 2.43 percent to Tw$105.5 while Hon Hai was 0.4 percent higher at Tw$76.2.

Manila added 0.83 percent, or 53.49 points, to end at 6,477.94.

Wellington slipped 0.61 percent, or 29.0 points, to 4,701.37.

Fletcher Building fell 0.73 percent to NZ$9.51, Internet provider Chorus slipped 0.34 percent to NZ$2.92 and Telecom was up 0.44 percent at NZ$2.28.

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