Asian stocks fell on the first day of the fourth-quarter as investors kept an eye on political unrest in Hong Kong and awaited key Chinese data.
Pro-democracy rallies in Hong Kong are expected to gain momentum as China’s week-long national day holiday kicks off on Wednesday. Protest organizers issued a midnight deadline for Chief Executive CY Leung to resign, warning that protests would spread otherwise. Hong Kong markets are closed until Friday, while Shanghai markets are shut until October 7.
China’s official purchasing manager’s index (PMI) for September is due at 9:45am SIN/HK. A Reuters poll of economists expects the figure to fall to 51 from 51.1 in August. The data follows HSBC’s final PMI reading on Tuesday, which came in at 50.2 – unchanged from August.