© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up on Wednesday morning as investors digested the . The country’s clampdown on various sectors and the spread of the COVID-19 virus’ Delta variant globally capped gains, however.

China’s was up 0.53% by 10:33 PM ET (2:33 AM GMT) and the gained 0.68%. The , released earlier in the day, was 54.9 in July, higher than the 50.3 figure from the previous month.

The trend upwards comes as economic data released earlier in the week set the opposite tone. The was a lower-than-expected 50.3 in July, while the and PMIs were 50.4 and 53.3.

Hong Kong’s jumped 1.22%.

Japan’s edged down 0.15%. Softbank (OTC:) Group Corp. (T:) shares fell over the possibility that its $40 billion sale of Arm Ltd. to chip company NVIDIA Corp. (NASDAQ:) could be blocked.

South Korea’s rose 0.95% and in Australia, the was up 0.23%.

In the U.S., shares had another record close thanks to corporate earnings. However, the benchmark held its retreat.

Chinese shares in the U.S. slid, with speculation growing that the online gaming could be the next industry to be included in China’s recent regulatory crackdown on sectors including private education and technology.

The speculation was prompted by the Economic Information Daily, an outlet run by the Xinhua News Agency, which published a blistering critique of the industry that called it “spiritual opium”. The critique prompted Tencent Inc to mull a ban on children playing its games, while Alibaba’s revenue missed estimates for the first time in more than two years.

Concerns about the continuous spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, and its impact on the global economic recovery, also capped shares’ gains.

Investors also remain cautious about inflation, and keenly await the latest U.S. jobs report, including , due on Friday. The data could dictate market moves should it lead to investors adjusting expectations over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s likely timeline to begin asset tapering.

Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida will speak on monetary policy, and the U.S. Treasury will also announce its quarterly refunding, later in the day.

“We think the delta variant is not going to stop the recovery, it’s just going to delay it… the Fed is going to live with a lot more inflation. They don’t want to derail the recovery,” Pence Wealth Management president Laila Pence told Bloomberg.

Meanwhile, other central banks handing down policy decisions throughout the week are the on Thursday and the the day after. BOE is expected to keep both its interest rate and bond-buying target unchanged in its decision.

Also on the data front, New Zealand’s grew 1% quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2021, while the was at a lower-than-expected 4%.

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