Asian Stocks Hit By HK Protests and Weak PMIs

Asian stocks fell for the fourth consecutive day as political protests in Hong Kong show no signs of abating and US consumer confidence unexpectedly fell.

The regional benchmark MSCI Asia Pacific index closed down 0.3% on Thursday.

Better-than-expected China manufacturing data failed to provide a lift after its official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) held at 51.1 in September.

A reading above 50 indicates growth, while any below shows a contraction.

Markets had been expecting the PMI reading to fall to 51.0 and today’s figure should provide some relief to investors concerned about a slowdown in China.

“Today’s official PMI suggests the while conditions have held up better than many had expected, domestic demand remains subdued,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics said.

“The economy has held up better than the sharp slowdown in the August activity data suggested.”

China and Hong Kong’s stock markets are closed for the National Day public holiday.

via BBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza