Inventories fall, Chinese factory data ahead

The logo of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE), operated by Japan Exchange Group Inc. (JPX), is displayed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Japan, Friday, October 2, 2020.

Akio Kon | Bloomberg via Getty Images

Shares in the Asia-Pacific region fell on Wednesday following a negative lead from Wall Street, and as investors eagerly awaited the release of data on Chinese factory activity.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan lost 0.8% and the Topix index fell 0.6%.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.7%. In South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.81% and the Kosdaq fell 0.79%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan lost 0.27%.

Analysts in a Reuters poll expect the official Chinese manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for August to come in at 49.2. The PMI in July was 49.

PMI readings are sequential and represent month-to-month expansion or contraction. The 50-point bar that separates growth from contraction.

Overnight on Wall Street, major stock indices fell for a third straight session.

The S&P 500 fell 1.1% to 3,986.16, falling below the 4,000 level for the first time since July. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.1%, to close at 11,883.14, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 308.12 points, or nearly 1%, to 31,790.87.

“Equity markets continued to be impacted by expectations that central banks will keep their foot on the accelerator in terms of rate hikes,” Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes of ANZ Research wrote in a note on Wednesday.

On Tuesday in the United States, New York Federal Reserve Chairman John Williams said he sees rates rising further and staying at those levels until inflation is brought under control.

– CNBC’s Tanaya Macheel, Jesse Pound and Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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