Asian stocks edge up after strong China manufacturing survey
SYDNEY/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Asian stocks edged higher on Tuesday after strong readings on China’s vast manufacturing sector offset the weak lead from a softer Wall Street session. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2%, to regain some ground it had lost on Monday. The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong traded 0.18% higher while the Shanghai Composite also recovered early losses to stand 0.1% higher. Japan’s Nikkei 225 erased early losses to trade flat. The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index(PMI) showed China’s factory activity expanded at the fastest clip in nearly a decade in August, bolstered by the first increase in new export orders this year. “What we are seeing here is the slow but choppy export recovery that is taking a bit longer than maybe some market participants thought it would - and that’s because markets remain largely out of sync,” said Daniel Gerard, senior multi asset strategist at State Street Global Markets, based in Singapore. “September is also going to be a choppy recovery, and until we get closer to more news about a vaccine it’s going to remain that way.” Taiwan stocks gained 0.5% after the United States said on Monday it was establishing a new bilateral economic dialogue with the country, an initiative it said was designed to support Taipei. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was an outlier, declining 2.4% to four-week lows on rising diplomatic tensions between Canberra and Beijing. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 ended in the red overnight, while the Nasdaq rose solidly. The S&P gained more than 7% for the month to notch its best August since 1986 in what is traditionally a softer month for stock performance. Wall Street declines overnight were mostly caused by month-end portfolio rebalancing “rather than a new trend in equities,” said Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at NAB Market Research in Sydney. The Nasdaq fared even better than the S&P for the month, up nearly 10% as it rallied for a fifth straight month.