Japan stocks set to rise as Asia investors await China’s September factory activity data

SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a higher start on Thursday, as investors look ahead to the release of Chinese factory activity data for September.

Futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese stocks, with the Nikkei futures contract at 29,820 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,750. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,544.29. Japan is set for a new prime minister after Fumio Kishida won the governing party leadership election on Wednesday.

Over in Australia, stocks appeared poised for a muted open. The SPI futures contract was at 7,199, against the S&P/ASX 200’s last close at 7,196.70.

Looking ahead, China’s official as well as the Caixin/Markit manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for September are both expected on Thursday.

Investors will also monitor shares of developer China Evergrande, after Reuters reported that some bondholders did not receive a due coupon payment by the close of Asia business hours on Wednesday.

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Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 90.73 points higher to 34,390.72 while the S&P 500 gained 0.16% to 4,359.46. The Nasdaq Composite shed 0.24% to 14,512.44.

The moves came as investors continued watching the 10-year Treasury yield, which crossed the 1.5% level on Monday and has since remained above that mark, last sitting at 1.5149%. Yields move inversely to prices.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 94.338 following a recent climb from below 94.

The Japanese yen traded at 111.96 per dollar, having weakened from below 111.6 against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7175 after falling from above $0.728 earlier this week.

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