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  • The Shanghai Composite index rises 1% on upbeat China PMIs. 
  • Other Asian majors and S&P 500 futures suffer moderate losses. 
  • The US dollar remains on the offer on continued vaccine optimism.

Asian stocks trade mixed as dollar index hits lowest since April 2018

Asian stocks are trading mixed, with indices in China cheering upbeat domestic data and other Asian majors taking a bull breather following the recent sharp rally. 

The Shanghai Composite index is currently up over 1%. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 52.1 in November from 51.4 in October to reach its highest since September 2017, the data released early Monday showed. The official non-manufacturing PMI rose to the highest level since 2012. 

Both numbers show continued growth in the world’s second-largest economy and look to be powering gains in the Chinese stock markets. 

However, Japan’s Nikkei index is trading mostly unchanged on the day, and shares in South Korea, Hong Kong, and Australia are flashing red alongside losses in the S&P 500 futures. According to Bloomberg, investors in these markets are monitoring progress on the path to a coronavirus vaccine on the final day of a record month for global equities. 

Drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna announced positive results of their experimental coronavirus vaccines earlier this month, triggering an outflow of money from haven assets such as the US dollar and gold and into risk assets. Global equities are up 13% in November. 

The dollar index (DX), which tracks the greenback’s value against majors, fell to 91.67 soon before press time. That was the lowest level since April 2018. The DXY has dropped nearly 2.5% this month.