Asian markets muted while yuan briefly slumps to a record low

China’s main stock index closed at its highest level in more than a month on Wednesday, while its currency, the yuan, briefly dipped to a record low in overseas trading.

The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.2% at 2,930.15, the best close since July 31. It extended a 1.3% rally on Monday. Infrastructure, shipbuilding and consumer electronics stocks continued to lead the market higher after promising economic data on Monday showed China’s manufacturing sector expanded to a five-month high.

Japan’s Nikkei closed up by less than 0.1%.

But Hong Kong’s Hang Seng finished down 0.4%, following slight weakness Monday. Last month, the Hang Seng recorded a 7.4% drop — one of the worst among major global indexes. The index has been weighed down by escalating US-China trade tensions as well as intensifying protests in the city.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.2%.

The Chinese yuan touched a record low in offshore trading early Tuesday morning — it briefly hit 7.196 yuan per one US dollar, the lowest since it began trading outside of mainland China in 2010. It’s now trading a bit higher at 7.184 per dollar, which is slightly stronger than Monday.

So far this year, the yuan has lost about 4.6% against the dollar in offshore trading, where the currency trades more freely.

The onshore yuan, meanwhile, was trading at around 7.179 per dollar Tuesday. It has also fallen around 4.4% this year.

Here’s what is happening elsewhere at about 4:30 p.m. Hong Kong time:

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