China economy, Reserve Bank of Australia, currencies

Stocks in Asia Pacific were set to open lower on Tuesday as investors await the release of a private survey of Chinese manufacturing activity in August.

Futures pointed to a lower open for stocks in Japan. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,035 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,080. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 23,139.76.

Shares in Australia were also poised to dip, with the SPI futures contract at 5,972.0, as compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 6,060.50.

On the economic data front, the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ index (PMI) for August is set to be out at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday. On Monday, China’s official manufacturing PMI for August came in at 51.0, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics.

PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below that figure indicate contraction. PMI readings are sequential and indicate on-month expansion or contraction.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia is also set to announce its interest rate decision at about 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN on Tuesday.

Ahead of that decision, the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7378 following a rise yesterday from levels around $0.735.

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average wrapped up their best August performances in decades. The Dow fell 223.82 points, or 0.8%, to end its trading day on Wall Street at 28,430.05 and the S&P 500 shed 0.2% to close at 3,500.31. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.7% and finished its trading day at 11,775.46.

The Monday moves left the Dow up 7.6% for August, its biggest gain for that month since 1984. The S&P 500 rose 7% for the same month, notching its best August performance since 1986.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was last at 92.144 following an earlier slip from around the 92.4 mark.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.93 per dollar after seeing levels around 105.5 against the greenback yesterday.

What’s on tap:

  • China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for August at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Australia: Reserve Bank of Australia’s interest rate decision at 12:30 p.m. HK/SIN

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