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Asia markets mixed as investors assess private business activity reports from Australia and Japan

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Singapore has overtaken Japan to boast of the world’s most powerful passport, the Henley Passport Index showed.

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Asia-Pacific markets are mixed on Wednesday as investors assess private business activity surveys from Australia and Japan, as well as inflation figures from Singapore.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.66%, reversing earlier losses. Australia’s business activity contracted at the fastest pace in 19 months, according to Juno Bank, with its flash composite purchasing managers index coming in at 47.1 for August.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 also was in positive territory as it climbed 0.18%, while the Topix gained 0.16%. The country saw a faster expansion in its business activity, with its flash PMI for August at 54.3 compared to July’s 53.8.

However, South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.56%, and the Kosdaq dropped 1.25%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index hovered just below the flatline, while mainland Chinese markets were also in negative territory, with the benchmark CSI 300 index down 0.72%.

Singapore’s Straits Times Index inched up 0.29% after the country’s core inflation climbed 3.8% in July from a year ago, in line with expectations in a Reuters poll.

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