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.
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