The major Asia-Pacific stock indexes bounced off one-month low on Monday after the release of a report from China showing factory activity expanded at its fastest pace in a decade while oil prices dropped as many Western countries reinstated coronavirus-driven lockdowns.
Despite the strong showing in China, the global outlook dampened as some European countries and U.S. states battled still rising COVID-19 infections and reverted back into coronavirus lockdowns. Meanwhile, U.S. e-mini S&P 500 Index futures edged higher on light short-covering ahead of the U.S. Presidential elections on Tuesday.
In the cash market, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index settled at 23295.48, up 318.35, up 1.39. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index finished at 24460.01, up 352.59, or +1.46% and South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2300.16, up 33.01 or 1.46%.
In China, the Shanghai Index settled at 3225.12, up 0.59 or +0.02% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index finished at 5951.30, up 23.70 or +0.40%.
China’s Manufacturing Sector Expands for Sixth Straight Month
China’s factory activity expanded for the sixth straight month in October as business confidence grew to it strongest in years, a private survey showed on Monday.
The Caixin/Markit Purchasing Managers’ Index for Chinese manufacturing came in at 53.6 for October, better than the 53.0 forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll. The latest reading was the highest since January 2011, the survey results showed.
The private survey followed the release of China’s official manufacturing PMI over the weekend, which came in at 51.4 for October – the eighth consecutive month of expansion. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 51.3 reading.
The October Caixin/Markit PMI showed that the country’s manufacturing recovery has continued to pick up speed, said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin Insight Group.
“To sum up, recovery was the word in the current macro economy, with the domestic epidemic under control,” he said in a statement accompanying the data release.
“Manufacturing supply and demand improved at the same time. Enterprises were very willing to increase inventories. Prices tended to be stable. Business operations improved, and entrepreneurs were confident,” he added.
China Blue-Chips End Higher on Rising Factory Activity
China blue-chip shares finished higher on Monday after a private survey showed the fastest acceleration in Chinese factory activity in nearly a decade, the latest indication of the country’s robust economic recovery from lockdowns.
The largest percentage gainers in the main Shanghai Composite index were Whirlpool China Co Ltd up 10.07%, followed by Dr. Peng Telecom & Media Group Co Ltd, gaining 10.06% and COSCO Shipping Development Co Ltd, up by 10.05%.
The largest percentage losers in the Shanghai Index were Huadian Energy Co Ltd down 10.06%, followed by Sichuan Xichang Electric Power Co Ltd losing 10.05% and Shanghai Shenqi Pharmaceutical Management Co Ltd down by 10.03%.
Australia Shares Make Cautious Gains Ahead of US Election Outcome
Australian shares closed higher on a cautious note, as traders braced for restlessness during the U.S. Presidential election week, while gold stocks led the gains as uncertainty stoked bids for the safe-haven metal on Monday.
The Australian gold index gained 1.1%, helped by a rise in bullion prices, as increased global uncertainty drew investors to the safety of gold.
The heavyweight financial sector gained 0.4% after the country’s second-largest lender Westpac posted full-year results and said it intends to return to a half-yearly dividend cycle.
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