Overseas Trading: Traders Put Positive Spin on Weak Chinese Data

China's manufacturing data topped expectations, but remained considerably weak

Elizabeth Harrow
Oct 1, 2015 at 8:26 AM
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Stocks in Asia started October with a bang, despite continued softness in Chinese manufacturing activity. Beijing's official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) topped expectations -- but at 49.8, confirmed an ongoing contraction in the factory sector. Likewise, the final September Caixin/Markit PMI edged up to 47.2 from the preliminary reading of 47.0, but still represents a six-year low for the metric. The double dose of weak data didn't exactly come as a shock, though, and helped to stoke optimism for further easing from mainland policymakers.

Over in Japan, a cooling yen helped exporters gain ground, with Sony catching an extra boost from a new Goldman Sachs "buy" rating. Meanwhile, a smaller-than-forecast drop in exports helped Seoul-listed stocks elbow higher. By the close, Japan's Nikkei jumped 1.9%, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.8%. Markets in China and Hong Kong are closed for holiday.

European benchmarks are mostly higher, with traders taking their lead from a solid session in Asia and Wall Street's positive Wednesday finish. At midday, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.8%, the French CAC 40 is 0.2% higher, and Germany's DAX has dipped just 0.3%.

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