Business

Shares in China lead gains across much of Asia

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Image caption The Nikkei closed up again on Monday marking its longest rising streak since a 13-day run in February 1988

Shares in China led gains across much of Asia after a survey indicated that activity in China's major factories had picked up in May.

The Shanghai Composite closed up 4.7% at 4,828.74.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index ended 0.6% higher at 27,597.16.

Official numbers from the mainland showed activity in some of China's big factories had increased slightly in May, in line with expectations.

The country's official purchasing managers' index (PMI), which measures items including new orders, rose 50.2 in May from 50.1 in April - its highest since November last year. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

The PMI figure triggered a rally in shares, despite a separate private PMI survey from HSBC/Markit indicating contraction.

The HSBC/Markit survey - which focuses on small and medium-sized factories - gave a reading of 49.2 in May, the third month of contraction in a row. It also indicated that export orders fell at the fastest rate for nearly two years.

In Japan, the benchmark Nikkei 225 recovered earlier losses to close up 0.03% at 20,569.87, marking its longest winning streak since a 13-day run in February 1988.

In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.72% at 5,735.40.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi index closed down 0.59% at 2,102.37 after a private survey suggested manufacturing activity in the country contracted in May for the third month in a row.

Official data also showed the country's exports in May were down 10.9% from a year earlier, while imports were down 15.3%.

The numbers fuel concerns over South Korea's faltering economic recovery.

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