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Asian shares mostly higher following Chinese data; Hang Seng up 0.11%

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Investing.com - Most Asian exchanges moved higher in Thursday's session after another positive economic data point out of China highlighted an ongoing turnaround in the world's second-largest economy.

In Asian trading Thursday, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.11% as the Shanghai Composite and Japan's Nikkei 225 remained closed for public holidays.

China's official purchasing managers' index for the country's non-manufacturing, or services, sectors rose to 56.1 in December from 55.6 in November, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Construction services soared to 61.9 from 61.3 in November. Readings above 50 indicate expansion.

The news out of China helped lift Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index 0.7% as mining shares led the rally in Sydney. China is one of Australia's most important trading partners and good news for the former usually means good news for the latter. New Zealand's NZSE 50 climbed 0.44%.

China spurring Australian mining shares is of course a positive for that embattled sector, particularly after BT Financial Group's chief economist told an Australian media outlet today that the Australian dollar could be vulnerable to some downside as the economy there grapples with declining investment. Faltering mining investment is one reason why the government believes its goal of fiscal surplus in the current fiscal year will not be acceptable.

Earlier this week, China's National Bureau of Statistics said its manufacturing PMI level for December was 50.6, inline with November's reading, but also a seven-month high. However, China's services industry is blossoming and is seen as integral to the country's plans to bolster domestic consumption while reducing its dependence on exports as a primary driver of GDP growth.

Traders will now turn their attention to the U.S. weekly jobless claims report due out later today and the December non-farm payroll report due to be delivered by the Labor Department on Friday. The U.S. jobs report could provide a gauge on just how much risk traders are willing to incur over the near-term.

Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.58% while Singapore's Straits Times Index added 0.44%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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