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Asia-Pacific stocks dip as investors await China’s manufacturing activity data, U.S. presidential debate

SINGAPORE — Asia-Pacific markets dipped in Wednesday morning trade as investors await the release of China’s manufacturing activity data for September.

Japan markets were lower, with the Nikkei 225 shedding 0.22% while the Topix index declining 0.42%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 also slipped 0.48%. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index was little changed.

Markets in South Korea are closed Wednesday for a holiday.

On the economic data front, China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for September is expected to be out at around 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN. The Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for September is also set to be released at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN. The data releases will be watched by investors for further clues on the Chinese economy’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, the first U.S. presidential debate between incumbent President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden, set to start at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday, could also impact investor sentiment.

In coronavirus developments, Regeneron said its REGN-COV2 drug reduced viral levels and improved symptoms in non-hospitalized coronavirus patients.

Overnight on Wall Street, the major averages snapped a three-day winning streak. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 131.40 points lower, or 0.5%, at 27,452.66. The S&P 500 also shed 0.5% to end its trading day at 3,335.47 while the Nasdaq Composite slid 0.3% to close at 11,085.25.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 93.86 following its decline this week from levels above 94.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.68 per dollar, still off levels below 105.5 against the greenback seen earlier this week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7147 after rising from levels below $0.707 this week.

Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

  • China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for September at 9:00 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI for China for September at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

— CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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