U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, the first day of the new quarter, amid weaker-than expected U.S. economic data. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing purchasing managers' index for the U.S. declined to 51.5 in March from 52.9 in February, missing expectations for a decline to 52.5. It was the fifth consecutive decline. Private sector in the U.S. added 189,000 jobs in March, according the ADP report on Wednesday. The S&P 500 closed -0.40% with a final quote of 2,059.69 points. The DOW JONES index declined by -0.44%, closing at 17,698.18 points.
Chinese stocks were trading mixed. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is currently trading 0.51% at 25,209.42 points. China's Shanghai Composite declined to 3,801.52 points currently down -0.23%. The Chinese government announced that the social security fund, responsible for the Chinese pensions, will be allowed to invest in government debt, investment trust and shares.
The Nikkei rallied on Thursday rebounding from a three-week-low on short-coverings after the recent plunge and on speculations that the Bank of Japan will buy stocks. The index climbed 1.46% to close at 19,312.79.