Japan stocks set to rise; data shows China’s factory activity in October shrinking for second month

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a higher start, while data released over the weekend showed China’s manufacturing activity in October contracting for the second month in a row.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,415 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,060. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,892.69.

Australian stocks edged higher in morning trade as the S&P/ASX 200 climbed about 0.2%.

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China’s factory activity

China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for October came in at 49.2 over the weekend, below the 50 level separating expansion from contraction. It represented the second straight month of shrinking manufacturing activity in the country, following September’s official manufacturing PMI reading of 49.6.

PMI reading below 50 represent contraction while those above that level signify expansion. PMI readings are sequential and represent month-on-month expansion or contraction.

A private survey on Chinese manufacturing activity in October is set to be released on Monday, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI expected at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, wax at 94.149 after a recent jump from below 93.6.

The Japanese yen traded at 114.16 per dollar, weaker than levels below 113.4 seen against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7515, following a decline from above $0.753 late last week.

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