Asian shares boosted by stronger China factory data

Asian shares boosted by stronger China factory data


TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher on Monday buoyed by further signs of recovery in China's manufacturing sector.

Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 1.4% to 23,303.42 in morning trading, while South Korea's Kospi gained nearly 0.9% to 2,287.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.4% to 5,952.40. Hong Kong's Hang Seng edged up 0.7% to 24,277.75, while the Shanghai Composite inched down less than 0.1% to 3,221.78.

The Caixin manufacturing PMI, a major indicator for China's manufacturing sector, rose in October, showing that domestic demand is holding up. But if coronavirus cases continue to rise in the U.S. and Europe, that's likely to hurt China's exports.

Still, a resurgence of outbreaks of COVID-19 has investors worried, on top of uncertainty over the U.S. presidential election.

The government’s top infectious diseases expert has cautioned that the U.S. will have to deal with “a whole lot of hurt” in the weeks ahead due to surging coronavirus cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a Washington Post interview that the U.S. “could not possibly be positioned more poorly” to stem rising cases as more people gather indoors during the colder fall and winter months.

Aside from pandemic and election concerns, market players are looking ahead to a slew of earnings reports expected from Japan and the rest of the region, including automakers and video-game maker Nintendo Co.

“With voters in the U.S. going to the polls this week, or more accurately, not going to the polls, having already cast their postal votes in huge numbers, Asia will be looking nervously westwards this week, wondering what the outcome will be, and that it will mean for them,” said Robert Carnell, regional head of research for ING.

The focus is on U.S. China relations, but investors...

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