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Asia stocks set for mixed start as investors await private survey on Chinese factory activity in August

SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific looked set for a mixed open on Wednesday, as investors look ahead to the release of a private survey on Chinese factory activity in August.

Futures pointed to a muted open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 28,080 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,100. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,089.54.

Meanwhile, Australian stocks appeared poised for a positive start. The SPI futures contract sat at 7,444, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,534.90.

Australia’s GDP data for the second quarter is set to be out at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.

Private survey on China factory activity in August

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August is set to be out at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Wednesday.

That comes after the official manufacturing PMI released Monday showed slowing Chinese factory activity growth in August, coming in at 50.1 against July’s reading of 50.4.

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

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Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 declined 0.13% to 4,522.68 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 39.11 points to 35,360.73. The Nasdaq Composite dipped fractionally to about 15,259.24.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.626 following a recent bounce from around 92.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 110 per dollar, weaker than levels below 109.8 seen against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7318 after climbing from below $0.73 yesterday.


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