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- Asian stocks rose on Thursday, drawing strength from overnight gains in global equities markets following their weakest quarter in four years, and a China factory activity survey that came in slightly better than initially expected. The final Caixin/Markit China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for September was slightly down from August but was a touch higher than a preliminary reading, data released on Thursday showed. Chinese financial markets are closed Oct. 1 to Oct. 7 for national holidays.
- Oct 1 Japanese manufacturing activity expanded at a slower pace in September as new export orders tumbled the most in almost three years, a private survey showed on Thursday, another warning sign that China’s slowdown is harming Japan’s economic outlook. The Markit/Nikkei Japan Final Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) stood at a seasonally adjusted 51.0 in September, slightly more than a preliminary 50.9 but still below 51.7 in August. The final index for new export orders was 48.0. This was an improvement over the flash reading of 47.8 but still showed that export orders contracted at the fastest pace since February 2013.
- In currencies on Thursday, the dollar stood tall after an overnight boost from an upbeat U.S. private-sector employment report. U.S. private employers added 200,000 jobs in September, according to the ADP National Employment Report, beating forecasts and hinting jobs growth may be sufficient for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates later this year. In September, the Fed opted against hiking interest rates, citing concerns about global risks and market tumult stemming from China. But in recent days top policymakers including Chair Janet Yellen have said the Fed could raise rates this year if the economy improves. The exponential growth of online lenders, which tap the Internet, social media and other unconventional data sources to assess loan applicants, could challenge U.S. community banks as key sources of credit for small business and consumers, a top Federal Reserve official said on Wednesday. They could also pose new regulatory challenges that the Fed and other agencies may have to address to ensure they play by the same rules as other lenders, and do not engage in discriminatory or deceptive practices.
- Crude oil prices edged up in early Asian trading on Thursday as demand was estimated to have remained strong despite slowing economic growth in Asia, and as Russian and western air campaigns in Syria worried markets. Traders said that a political risk premium has re-entered oil markets over Syria, where Russia and the United States are both carrying on bombing campaigns without coordination, triggering fears of unintentional clashes. Hurricane Joaquin strengthened in the Atlantic on Wednesday and could become a major storm, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, although forecast models did not agree on whether it would make landfall in the United States. World oil demand surged in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, responding to a halving in the price of crude and significant declines in the price of most fuels in most consuming countries, according to national estimates submitted to the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI). JODI reported consumption averaged 71.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first six months of 2015, up from 69.1 million bpd in the prior-year period, an increase of 2.3 million bpd or 3.3 percent.