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GLOBAL MARKETS – Asian stocks fall as China's manufacturing data disappoints – Agricultural Commodities



* MSCI Asia ex-Japan -0.7 percent

* China's manufacturing data does not meet expectations

* Japanese markets closed as emperor prepares to abdicate

* Asian Stocks: tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

By Andrew Galbraith

Shares in Asia fell on Tuesday as readings of China's manufacturing activity failed to live up to expectations, underscoring the weakness of the world's second-largest economy despite Beijing's attempts to boost growth.

Both official and private surveys have pointed to slower growth at the Chinese mill this month, hoping for a stable reading or even faster expansion. The data also showed a slower expansion in its service sector, increasing economic uncertainty.

The MSCI, denominated in US dollar, of Chinese stocks fell 0.8%. But Chinese blue chips in Shanghai and Shenzhen kept losses under control, losing less than 0.1 percent as investors kept hopes of further measures to bolster the economy.

Weak manufacturing numbers suggest that "the stimulus is there to stay," said Frances Cheung, head of macro strategy for Asia at Westpac. Optimistic March data has led some analysts to lower expectations for additional support measures.

The MSCI's broader indicator of Asia-Pacific equities outside Japan was 0.7%. Korean stocks led losses to the region, dropping 1.3%.

Australian stocks fell 0.6 percent.

Japan's financial markets remain closed for a national holiday as Japanese Emperor Akihito prepares to abdicate on Tuesday in favor of his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito.

Even before China's data, Asian investors had downplayed cautious gains on Wall Street overnight that pushed the S & P 500 index to an intraday high of 2,949.52. The index ended up 0.11 percent in a record high of 2,943.03.

The Nasdaq rose 0.19 percent to 8,161.85, also a record high, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained a gain of 0.04 percent to 26,554.39.

The silent start of the week in the global stock markets is ahead of a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee. The committee is set to release its last statement at 2 pm. EDT (1800 GMT) on Wednesday.

The Fed is expected to leave interest rates unchanged as it seeks to balance robust economic growth with low inflation.

In the latest data series sending contradictory signals to the Fed, US consumer spending rose at the fastest pace in more than 9-1 / 2 years in March, but consumer spending (PCE), the bank's favored inflation measure , recorded the lowest annual increase in 14 months.

"We hope that the dovish tone of central banks will continue into the foreseeable future. Given the evidence of a rebound in growth, this is very positive for risky assets, "ANZ analysts said in a note in the morning.

The yield on the 10-year benchmark US Treasury notes retreated to 2.527 percent from 2330 GMT on Tuesday after peaking at 2.536 percent on Tuesday with strong consumer spending data.

The two-year profitability, seen as an indicator of rising rate expectations, was 2.2942 percent in New York's latest business, leaving a near-US Tuesday at 2.298 percent.

In the foreign exchange market, the dollar lost 0.05% against the yen to 111.55, and the euro barely changed to $ 1.1284.

The dollar index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of six major rivals, also remained unchanged at 97,852.

While other currencies remained stable, the dollar rose 0.4 percent against the Korean won to 1,163.33.

"The won is sensitive to risk and trade and as such is suffering," Cheung told Westpac.

"High pressure on the USD / Asia is likely to remain before we see any economic improvement (in China)," she added.

Oil prices fell after a rally on Monday as markets tried to resume a disrupted high as US President Donald Trump demanded OPEC to increase production.

US crude fell 0.2 percent to $ 63.37 a barrel, and Brent crude fell 0.4 percent to $ 71.75.

Gold showed some brightness after plunging on Tuesday in the US data. Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $ 1,282.06 per ounce.

Report of Andrew Galbraith; Additional reporting by Winni
Zhou; Edition by Kim Coghill


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