Asian equities are mostly higher after strong China PMIs and the presidential debate passing without incident from a market’s perspective. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 has fallen 0.85%; the market weighed down by the numbers of stocks going ex-dividend. South Korea is closed for a public holiday.

China PMIs lift equity markets

China has released another impressive set of data, this time from the manufacturing and services sectors. September’s official manufacturing and non-manufacturing PMI’s outperformed expectations. The Manufacturing PMI rose to 51.5, up slightly from 51.0. The Services PMI impressed with a reading of 55.9 up from 55.2 beforehand. The Caixin Manufacturing PMI held steady at 53.1 points. The neutral 50-level separates contraction from expansion, so the September releases are indicative that both services and manufacturing are firmly in expansionary territory, highlighting that China’s recovery remains well on track.

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In China, the PMI data has lifted the Shanghai Composite by 0.50% and the CSI 300 by 0.80%, with Hong Kong outperforming, leaping 1.30%. A strong rally in Evergrande shares lifting mainboard property stocks is also contributing.

Singapore and Kuala Lumpur and Taipei are 0.50% higher, but Australian stock markets are heavy into the end of the quarter. Banking, resources and retail were all lower today, causing the ASX 200 and All Ordinaries to fall 0.80%, in line with the weak finish from Wall Street overnight.

US index futures rallied during the presidential debate, as no economic or policy surprises came out of the chaos. The dentists of Minnesota quickly took profits though as it came to an end, with the S&P 500 e-mini, Nasdaq and Dow Jones futures now all lower by 0.15%. Given how quickly the US futures retreated, Asian and European markets may struggle to make further gains today, with attention now turning to the US Non-Farm Payrolls data on Friday.

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