China economy, coronavirus, currencies, oil

SINGAPORE —Stocks in Japan were set to trade higher at the open, with data released over the weekend showing China’s manufacturing activity grew at a slightly slower rate in October.Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks. The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 23,070 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 23,160. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 22,977.13.Meanwhile, shares in Australia were lower in morning trade, as the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.36%.Oil prices dropped in the the morning of Asia hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 4.9% to $36.08 per barrel. U.S. crude futures declined 4.89% to $34.04 per barrel.China economic dataInvestor focus on Monday will likely be on China’s economy. China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for October came in at 51.4, according to the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. That was slightly lower than the 51.5 reading in September.PMI readings above 50 signify expansion, while those below that indicate contraction. PMI readings are sequential and represent on-month expansion or contraction.A private survey on China’s manufacturing activity is expected on Monday, with the Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI set to be out at around 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN.Coronavirus developmentsOn the coronavirus front, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Saturday that England will adopt a second national lockdown starting Thursday following a surge in virus cases.The U.S. has also been dealing with a recent spike in infections, with the nation reporting 99,321 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, beating its previous record set only a day prior, according to Johns Hopkins University. That comes just ahead of this week’s elections stateside.CurrenciesThe U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.079 after rising from levels below 93 late in October.The Japanese yen traded at 104.62 per dollar after weakening from levels below 104.4 against the greenback last week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7015 after weakening sharply last week from levels above $0.708.Here’s a look at what’s on tap:China: Caixin/Markit manufacturing PMI at 9:45 a.m. HK/SIN

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