HSI falls, Shanghai rises on mainland factory data
Hong Kong stocks finished on a negative note Friday (July 31) but Shanghai ended well up after data showed Chinese factory activity continued to improve in July, lifting hopes for the world's second biggest economy.
The Hang Seng Index slipped 0.5 percent, to 24,595.
On the mainland, Shanghai Composite Index added 0.7 percent, to 3,310 while the Shenzhen Composite Index gained 1.3 percent, to 2,256.
Most Asian markets struggled and the US dollar extended losses as data showing the US suffered its worst quarter on record highlighted the impact of the virus on the global economy.
Tokyo and Sydney were worst-hit with traders worried about a fresh spike in infections in Japan and Australia.
Tokyo lost 2.8 percent and Sydney shed 2.1 percent, while Seoul, Mumbai, Bangkok and Taipei were also in the red.
"What is probably more worrying for investors appears to be the realisation that the negative headlines with respect to a possible second wave will only make it that much more difficult to achieve any sort of prospect of a V-shaped recovery, particularly since the US labour market rebound appears to have come to a halt," said Michael Hewson at CMC Markets.
The already-struggling US dollar took another step down across the board following the data.
The euro, helped by this month's massive EU stimulus agreement, built on its recent advance to sit at highs not seen since May 2018, while the yen was sitting at levels not seen since mid-March.