The stocks were mixed in Asia on Wednesday while the upbeat manufacturing data lifted shares in China as the investors studied the outcome of the debate between President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.
The Hang Seng HSI, +0.90% in Hong Kong jumped 1.3% but had fallen back from a 2.1% gain earlier in the morning. Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.19% surged 0.5%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, -1.27% lost 0.7% , while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, -1.81% skidded 1.6%. Markets were closed in South Korea. Shares fell in Thailand SET, -0.78% and Indonesia JAKIDX, -0.58% but rose in Taiwan Y9999, +0.46%, and Singapore STI, -0.14%.
The investors remained cautious with COVID-19 infections on the rise again in the U.S. and elsewhere. The Trump-Biden debate occurring as coronavirus deaths worldwide have surpassed 1 million. Many millions of people worldwide are jobless.
On the survey of Chinese manufacturers, the Caixin manufacturing purchasing manager’s index, showed the economic activity accelerating further in September as businesses had recovered from a downturn earlier this year due to this pandemic.
Caixin manufacturing PMI slipped to 53.0 from 53.1 in August, on a scale of 1-100 where 50 marks the cutoff between contraction and expansion. With China’s official manufacturing PMI had risen to 51.5 from 51.0, its highest level in two years.
Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary that economic recovery had picked up the pace with supply and both domestics as well as overseas demand improving.
The socks ended with moderate losses on Tuesday, as the investors waited for the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
Whether the debate impacted the markets was unclear. The atmosphere was antagonistic, as to be expected, but for the voters that are still undecided about who’d better handle multiple crises that have beset the nation, faceoff may not have offered anything new.
On Wall Street, banks, energy companies, and the stocks dependent on consumer spending had some of the biggest losses.
The price of oil fell by 3.2%, dragging much of the energy sector down with it. On Wednesday, U.S. crude CLX20, -0.89% fell 20 cents to $39.09 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Brent crude BRNX20, -1.15%, the international standard, gave up 25 cents to $41.31 per barrel.
With uncertainty over the course of the pandemic and over how it will then affect the economy, with benchmark S&P 500 on track to fall by 4.7% this month, it is the worst month since March when the stock market plunged sharply as outbreaks had continued to spread in the U.S.
Mark Hackett, chief of investment research at Nationwide, said that the market needs the economy to open as we can handle bumpy economic data, but markets are not priced for the economy to just shut back down.
The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.48% fell 16.13 points to 3,335.47, after rallying the day before. However, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.47% 0.5%, dropped to 27,452.66, and the technology-heavy NASDAQ composite COMP, -0.29% lost 0.3%, to 11,085.25.
Congress continues to argue over the size of a new economic support package after additional unemployment benefits expired. The House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have agreed to hold another round of stimulus talks. However, with the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Congress had redirected much of its attention to President Trump’s nominee to replace her.
Overall, the last major jobs report before the election will come out on a Friday. It is a key indicator of how businesses are faring but also politically important for both the GOP and Democratic messaging heading into the election. About 850,000 jobs were created in September, with an unemployment rate of 8.2%.
As of the currency dealings, the U.S. dollar USD/JPY, -0.20% bought 105.70 Japanese yen, up from 105.64 yen bought on late Tuesday.