* MSCI Asia ex-Japan falls 1 pct, Nikkei slides 1.5 pct
* Dollar eases vs yen, wipes out all gains made on BOJ move
* China HSBC flash PMI ticks up in Sept to 47.8 vs 47.6 in
* PMI still indicates industry is contracting, output weak
* European shares likely fall
By Chikako Mogi
TOKYO, Sept 20 Asian shares, oil and copper
extended losses on Thursday after data indicated little respite
for Chinese manufacturers, keeping the outlook unclear whether
policymakers in the world's second-largest economy will feel
compelled to follow the global rush of stimulus action.
Safe-haven assets, including government bonds, rose while
currencies such as the dollar gained against the euro and the
yen advanced broadly on reduced risk-taking sentiment after the
U.S. Federal Reserve's aggressive stimulus last week, and the
Bank of Japan's further easing on Wednesday.
The HSBC flash PMI ticked up to 47.8 in September from a
nine-month low in August of 47.6, but remained below 50 for an
11th month in a row, showing the sector was still contracting.
An output index hit a 10-month low.
"Data would probably need to be much worse than this for
Beijing to cut interest rates or reserve requirements for banks
with the 18th National Party Congress round the corner," said
Alan Lam, Julius Baer's Greater China equity analyst.
The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside
Japan extended losses to fall 1 percent on the
day after the PMI data. Losses in Australian shares were
limited, trading down around 0.3 percent for most of the
session, and the Australian dollar slipped to the day's
lows around $1.0404 from around $1.0456 before the Chinese data.
Shanghai shares shed 1.3 percent to a two-week low,
dragging Hong Kong shares down 0.7 percent, as the
Chinese figures doused hopes of imminent policy easing.
The Nikkei stock average slid 1.5 percent,
retreating from a 4-1/2 month high on Wednesday.
"This is a sign the slowdown in Chinese manufacturing
activity is halting and stabilising," said Hirokazu Yuihama, a
senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.
"Market reaction may suggest they want to see some sort of
steps to support the economy from authorities, which are seen as
slow to take action," he said.
European equities were seen falling, with a 0.3 percent drop
in U.S. stock futures suggesting a weak Wall Street open
as well. Financial spreadbetters called London's FTSE 100
, Paris's CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX to
open down as much as 0.6 percent.
SAFETY BIDS STRENGTHEN
The Chinese data underlined expectations that growth
probably eased for the seventh straight quarter in the third
quarter, reinforcing concerns of softening demand from the
world's top consumer of many raw materials.
Data on Thursday showed Japan's exports fell for a third
straight month in the year to August, with exports to China, the
biggest destination for Japanese shipments, falling 9.9 percent
in the year to August.
U.S. crude slipped 1 percent to $91.02 a barrel while
Brent fell 0.3 percent to $107.85.
London copper shed 1.1 percent to $8,261 a tonne,
with a trader in Singapore saying some participants took profits
after the China data failed to show more concrete recovery.
"The market has been too bearish on China over summer. Now
they realise it's not that bad so you see some upside momentum.
Still prices are not going to move up much because that demand
is not that strong."
The euro fell 0.4 percent to $1.2990, while the
dollar slipped 0.3 percent to 78.12 yen, backing up from
a one-month high of 79.23 on Wednesday after the BOJ's stimulus
As the dollar rose against a basket of key currencies
, spot gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,763.24 an ounce,
off a 6-1/2 month high of $1,779.10 touched on Wednesday.
Spain's reluctance to seek a bailout underpinned demand for
safe-haven German bunds and also supported U.S. Treasury prices
in Asia and Japanese government bonds (JGBs).
"Sovereign debt markets don't offer returns but stability is
ensured by the global accommodative monetary stance and makes
investments secure," said Masahide Tanaka, deputy general
manager of asset management business planning department at
Mizuho Trust & Banking Co Ltd.
BOJ data showed outstanding JGBs held by overseas investors
hit their highest level on record at the end of June at 8.7
percent or 82 trillion yen ($1.05 trillion), up 20 percent from
a year earlier, as Europe's sovereign debt crisis and global
financial turmoil prompted investors to diversify away from the
euro and the dollar.
Asian credit markets slumped, with the spread on the iTraxx
Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index widening by 16