* Asia share markets mixed after very muted Wall St finish
* Manufacturing improves in US, China and Japan, but Europe
* Dollar sidelined, commodity-linked currencies fare better
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, June 24 Asian shares clinched slender
gains on Tuesday as improved manufacturing data from China,
Japan and the United States augured well for global growth,
despite a disappointing result from the euro zone.
Though moves were modest as markets slipped into something
of a summer lull, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan managed to gain 0.3 percent.
Japan's Nikkei lagged by losing 0.36 percent, but
South Korea outperformed with a rise of almost 1
percent, led by Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and
Hyundai Motor Co.
"Market heavyweights closely follow global economic
recovery, and the manufacturing surveys in the U.S. and China
have provided positive signals," said Hyundai Securities market
analyst Bae Sung-young.
The performance of manufacturing surveys (PMI) tend to be
reliable, and timely, leading indicators of output trends and
are closely watched by economists.
So there was relief that readings from the United States,
China and Japan all rose strongly in the month. The U.S. PMI was
a particularly pleasant surprise as it climbed to a four-year
peak of 57.5.
That helped offset an unexpected dip in Markit's euro zone
PMI to 52.8 in June from May's 53.5.
David Hensley, an economist at JPMorgan, said the PMI's
taken as a whole pointed to a quickening in global industrial
output, perhaps to as much as a 5 percent annualised pace.
"Emerging Asia lies at the centre of global manufacturing,
so any acceleration in global activity normally would be
confirmed there," he added.
"The continued recovery in China's manufacturing PMI is a
positive sign, both outright and because China's survey
typically is aligned with the broader EM complex. The trend in
official data for EM Asia ex China remains murky, however."
The data were still not enough to enliven Wall Street where
the Dow ended Monday off 0.06 percent and the S&P 500
0.01 percent, while the Nasdaq added 0.01
The disappointing euro zone PMI's also weighed on the euro,
while the better Chinese data boosted commodity-exposed
currencies including the Australian dollar.
The euro was flat at $1.3592 while the Aussie was up
at $0.9424 having touched a three-month peak overnight.
Against the yen, the common currency stood at 138.45
, while the dollar fetched 101.87.
That left the dollar index a shade firmer at 80.302,
though well within 80.000-81.000 range seen since May.
The economic diary is bare for much of Asia on Tuesday
though Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should detail more of
his so-called "Third Arrow" policies including phased corporate
tax cuts, public pension reforms and proposed dance hall
Given that many have already been leaked or announced by
officials, the risk is that the measures are likely to receive a
lukewarm response from investors. Still, the market will be keen
to see how they are fleshed out and implemented.
In commodity markets, gold was underpinned by geopolitical
tensions amid the increasing violence in Iraq, while platinum
eased as South African miners' union declared an official end to
a five-month strike.
Spot gold was sitting tight at $1,316.10 an ounce as
the market consolidated last week's 3 percent jump.
Brent crude edged back from nine-month highs as concerns
waned that a Sunni Islamist insurgency in Iraq would cut the
country's oil exports.
Brent dipped 23 cents to $113.89 a barrel and U.S.
crude for August delivery shed 51 cents to $105.66.
(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)