Downbeat US Manufacturing Causes Asian Markets to Waver

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By Jacob Maslow

Asian markets were affected by downbeat US manufacturing data recently released. The manufacturing sector in the United States contracted to its weakest level since June 2009, which puts a question on how aggressive the United States Federal Reserve will be when raising interest rates.

Britain’s FTSE 100 (FTSE) rose 0.58% on the day, and France’s CAC 40 (FCHI) is down 0.05% on the day. Germany’s DAX (GDAXI) is currently down 0.45% on the day.

Tokyo’s SMBC Nikko Securities stated that the manufacturing data released on Tuesday is unlikely to stop any plans for a rate hike by the Federal Reserve. Strategists believe that the data may prevent future hikes from occurring.

Asian markets struggled on the news, with meager gains on the day. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng (HSI) closed the day up 0.44%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 (N225) ended the day down 0.37%. Australia’s ASX 200 (AXJO) slipped 0.15%, while South Korea’s Kospi (KS11) ended down 0.72% on the day.

News out of Australia that the economy grew at a 0.9% rate in Q3 indicates a strong economy for the country. This is the 24th year in a row that the country has been recession-free. Crude oil prices continued to struggle on Wednesday following the news that OPEC is not expected to reduce supply output.

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