Asia Mostly Lower

Shares in the Asia-Pacific were mostly lower on Friday, the last day of the third quarter, following another selloff on Wall Street overnight.

China’s official factory activity data unexpectedly expanded in August, beating estimates.

The Nikkei 225 slumped 484.84 points, or 1.8%, to 25,937.21.

Shares of Softbank fell around 2% after sources confirmed reports that the company is planning to cut at least 30% of its Vision Fund staff.

Nintendo also shed more than 3% after the company carried out a 10-for-1 stock split aimed at reducing the price of one individual share to attract new investors.

Meanwhile, Toyota fell more than 3% along with other auto companies in Japan, after its CEO Akio Toyoda reiterated the company’s strategy for electric vehicles production, despite criticism it’s not moving fast enough.

Other companies such as Nissan, Mitsubishi Motor, Mazda Motor all fell more than 5% in the morning session.

In Japan, shares of Nidec dropped 4.9% in morning trade, and Alps Alpine slid 3.8%.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index poked ahead 56.96 points, or 0.3%, to 17,222.83.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company fell 2.4% and Largan Precision slumped 4.4%.

South Korea’s Samsung SDI fell 2.8%, while SK Hynix and Samsung Electronics rose.

CHINA

In Shanghai, the CSI 300 dipped 22.25 points, or 0.6%, to 3,804.89.

The Chinese yuan strengthened against the U.S. dollar, extending gains for a second straight session after Reuters reported the central bank has asked state banks to support the currency.

The onshore yuan strengthened to 7.0945 per dollar in Asia’s afternoon, while the offshore yuan stood at 7.0907 against the greenback.

The People’s Bank of China warned speculators not to bet on the yuan in either direction earlier this week.

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index surprisingly grew in September to 50.1, much higher than the 49.6 predicted by analysts in a Reuters poll.

The 50-point mark separates growth from contraction. PMI prints compare activity from month to month.

Meanwhile, the Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, a private survey of factory activity — reported a contraction with a reading of 48.1.

In other markets

In Singapore, the Straits Times Index recovered 15.16 points, or 0.5%, to 3,130.24.

In Korea, the Kospi index backpedaled 15.44 points, or 0.7%, to 2,155.49.

In Taiwan, the Taiex removed 109.68 points, or 0.8%, to 13,424.58

In Australia, the ASX 200 deleted 80.77 points, or 1.2%, to 6,474.20.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 dropped 134.33 points, or 1.2%, to 11,065.71.