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Lack of clarity over US data put pressure on Asian stocks

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(Credit: MoneyTimes) Investors monitor screens showing stock market movements at a brokerage house in Shanghai on August 18, 2015.Brokerage house
October 2
3:16 AM 2015

The lack of clarity about the US data and timing of interest rate hike have put further pressure on Asian stock markets. 

Several Asian stocks slipped into pressure on Friday trading ahead of the US data jobs report. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.7 percent for the week. The long holiday stretch for Chinese markets also resulted in sluggishness in the Asian market. 

MSCI index for Asia-Pacific outside Japan fell 0.3 percent. The mixed Wall Street movements are not clearly indicating any direction for the rest of global markets ahead of jobs data. Despite pressure, Asian stocks set to close the week on positive note. 

The US dollar was trading 0.1 percent marginally lower in forex market.

China market is closed till 8 October on account of National Golden Week holidays. Nikkei was trading 0.7 percent on Friday intraday. Though trading was lower 0.3 percent during intraday, MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan is still showing 0.7percent gain for the week.

The latest surveys indicate that Chinese manufacturing sector is not as bad as the looming concerns over the market. However, The Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) index of national factory activity dropped to 50.2 indicating its lowest since May 2013. It fell below the forecast made by Reuters poll.

The US dollar was slightly down 0.1 percent against yen, while euro was also marginally lower at $1.1190. The dollar index that tracks greenback's movement against six other global currencies was down 0.1 percent.

Though outlook is bleak, the Asian stocks are expected to close the week on positive note. The latest surveys about China's factory output released on Thursday gave some positive outlook for the investors. However, it also indicated the bleak outlook for the Asian region as a whole.

According to HSBC, the difference between new orders and inventories is showing positive sign for Asian industrial production. But, there's also possibility of deceleration in industrial output in next quarter, alert analysts at HSBC.

Asian stocks were down to three-and-a-half-year lows till September end. Glencore's shares on Hong Kong and London bourses were steeply down 28 percent over debt worries causing concern for investors. 

European markets are also expected to witness selling pressure. UK's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX and France's CACM-40 were trading on weak note.

MSCI index for Asia-Pacific was moving down in the quarter ending September as it reached its lowest level since June 2012. Shanghai index and China's CSI300 index were down 1.9percent and two percent respectively during the intraday trading.

The US data on different economy factors is not giving any clear picture as a separate data on labor market indicates tightening of jobs market, while US construction spending rose to its highest level in August since 2008. 

The recovery in the US economy, weakness in the global markets, and uncertainty over interest rate hike are impacting the world's largest economy in different ways.

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