Stocks in Asia finished mostly higher today, thanks to upbeat manufacturing data out of China. Japan's Nikkei rallied 2.1% on the back of a cooling yen, with financials pacing the advance on news that Japan Post Life Insurance will up its stake in local stocks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.5%, while South Korea's Kospi finished 0.4% higher after tagging a year-to-date high in intraday action. The Shanghai Composite bucked the trend, erasing its early lead to settle 0.2% lower.
European indexes are mixed at midday, with France's CAC 40 down 0.2% on lackluster factory data. Germany's DAX, on the other hand, is up 0.1% on in-line purchasing managers index (PMI) numbers for the country and the eurozone. Elsewhere, London's FTSE 100 was last seen just north of breakeven.
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