Asia shares down despite China factory data

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Nikkei 225 Index

Last Updated at 25 Sep 2017, 06:45 GMT Nikkei 225 one month chart
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Asian shares closed down on Thursday, taking their lead from losses on Wall Street despite positive factory data from China.

Japan's Nikkei index closed down 0.4% at 15,138.96 points.

Earlier in the US, the S&P 500 ended a four-day winning streak after a fatal shooting in Canada's capital city unsettled investors.

A gunman killed a soldier at a war memorial in Ottawa and shots were fired in the parliament building.

The Nikkei's lull comes after a more upbeat day for the index on Wednesday, when Japanese investor sentiment was boosted by official trade figures that showed a rapid increase in exports during September.

The world's third-largest economy said its exports jumped 6.9% from a year earlier - the strongest rise for seven months - although official data showed its trade deficit for the month still widened.

Shares of Takata, a firm that makes airbags for cars, were down by more than 6% after US car safety regulators expanded a recall of vehicles with potentially dangerous Takata airbags to 7.8 million.

China manufacturing expands

In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite ended 1% lower, despite HSBC's purchasing managers' index (PMI) reading for small and medium-sized factories in China coming in slightly ahead of expectations.

While the HSBC reading was positive, up from 50.2 in September to 50.4 in October, sub-index figures showed that factory output had fallen to a five-month low.

"While the manufacturing sector likely stabilised in October, [China's] economy continues to show signs of insufficient effective demand," HSBC said.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index closed down 0.3%, but railways helped offset the losses.

Shares of China CNR Corp jumped 3.2% after its said it had been awarded a subway contract from US state Massachusetts.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.1% lower, ending seven sessions of gains - its longest winning streak since August.

In South Korea, the Kospi closed down 0.3%, but losses were capped by a late rally in Hyundai Motor shares, which jumped almost 6% higher on earnings expectations.

The carmaker said its fourth-quarter profit would improve and that it was mulling a sizable increase in dividend rates.

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