Chinese manufacturing data comes below expectation

<p>As expected, Asian stocks were lower today as a reading into Chinese manufacturing activity came below market expectations. The HSBC purchasing managers’ index showed a […]</p>

As expected, Asian stocks were lower today as a reading into Chinese manufacturing activity came below market expectations. The HSBC purchasing managers’ index showed a reading of 48 compared with 51 last month and while this is not the official government reported measure, it is a fairly accurate lead indicator.

The MSCI Asia Pacific index excluding Japan, which was closed for a holiday, was 1.7% lower at noon in Hong Kong.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 index closed just under 2% lower, its lowest point on the session. BHP Billiton – the world’s largest miner by revenue – was 3% lower as traders sold down commodity stocks on uncertainty growth outlook. Miner Rio Tinto was similarly down by 3.4%, capping off a bad week for material exposures.

Meanwhile the decline of the Indian rupee is causing headaches for policymakers battling inflationary pressure. The currency continues to decline against the dollar causing domestic issues around rising prices. Rising energy and food prices are the most obvious. One U.S. dollar was last buying around 52.16 rupees compared to levels around 46 in August this year.

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