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November 2, 2012
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  Top Stories 
  • China manufacturing swings to positive ground
    Wall Street Journal
    Purchasing managers' indexes from the Chinese government and HSBC showed improvement in October, with Beijing's official reading turning positive at 50.2 for the first time in three months. "The worst is behind us already. Monetary policy has already done its job" and there's "no way we will see another interest-rate cut because we think inflation is going to rebound," said Joy Yang, chief Greater China economist at Mirae Asset Securities in Hong Kong. Bloomberg (11/1) , Caijing Magazine online (11/1) , (China) (11/1) , The Wall Street Journal (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Asia's slowdown may be near an end
    The latest batch of purchasing managers' indexes from across Asia, though not entirely consistent, points to improved activity for the region. With notable exceptions in Taiwan and resource-driven Australia, output and exports are picking up and showing promise for the remainder of the year. "More investor-friendly financial policies in the eurozone and the U.S. in September have released pent-up demand, and that will support activity in the fourth quarter," commented Tim Condon, ING's chief economist and head of research for Asia. The Wall Street Journal (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. jobless data point to improved hiring
    U.S. claims for jobless benefits declined a sharper-than-expected 9,000 to 363,000 last week, suggesting that a slight recent pickup in hiring is being sustained. The four-week moving average was also lower, at 367,250. Both readings were below the 400,000 level at which economists believe employment is improving. Chicago Tribune/Reuters(tiered subscription model) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. manufacturing, productivity improve
    U.S. worker productivity in the third quarter and manufacturing in October both showed gains, adding to signs of economic upturn. The number of hours worked during the quarter was up as well. The positive manufacturing index of 51.7 improved on the 51.5 reading in September and suggests U.S. manufacturers are riding out the global downturn. MarketWatch (11/1) , Bloomberg (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • In U.S. and U.K., economic crisis policies are found wanting
    A prominent U.S. fund manager and a U.K. government study criticized economic crisis policies on both sides of the Atlantic, saying they are ineffective or inadequate. In the U.S., Pacific Investment Management chief Bill Gross said the Federal Reserve's quantitative easing is failing to spur "corporations to invest in future production." And in London, Lord Heseltine warned that the government's tax cuts and deregulation fall well short of the "war psychology" needed to revive the economy. Bloomberg (11/1) , The Business Times (Singapore)/Reuters (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.K. manufacturing slump deepens
    U.K. manufacturing took a turn for the worse in October, even after a downwardly revised figure for September. The CIPS/Markit Purchasing Managers' Index came in at 47.5, down from the revised 48.1 the previous month. The deepening contraction may open the way for more stimulus by the Bank of England. CNBC (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Market Activities 
  • China manufacturing numbers buoy Asian markets
    Strong PMI figures out of China helped lift shares across much of Asia, although tech shares took a hit from Panasonic's shocking projected loss for the year. Despite that, the Nikkei edged up 0.21% to 8,946.87 while the Hang Seng rose 0.83% to 21,821.87, the Kospi fell 0.71% to 1,898.44, and the S&P/ASX dropped 1.32% to 4,457.60. MarketWatch (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

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  Economic Trends & Outlook 
  • India manufacturing stays firmly expansionary in October
    Exports helped sustain India's manufacturing sector in October, with a steady positive reading of 52.9 in HSBC India's purchasing managers' index. "Economic activity in the manufacturing sector picked up slightly thanks to firm new orders. ... New export orders increased for the second successive month," noted Leif Eskesen, HSBC's chief economist for India and ASEAN. Channel NewsAsia (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • India's Chidambaram meets with FIIs
    Representatives of such major foreign institutional investors as Bank of America Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs and private equity fund T. Rowe Price met Thursday with Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram. The gathering came in the context of a range of measures undertaken by the government to attract more foreign investment. "FIIs met me, and I updated them on where we see the economy going and what steps we are taking," Chidambaram said after the meeting. The Economic Times (India)/Press Trust of India (11/1) , The Hindu (India) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • South Korean exports rise, widening October surplus
    South Korea's trade surplus rose to US$3.8 billion last month, improving on September's US$3.15 billion and more than doubling the year-earlier figure. Total exports edged up 1.2% to US$47.2 billion in October. "Despite a delayed recovery of demands in key markets, the country's exports increased slightly from the same period last year due to growing shipments to Southeast Asian countries and China," the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said. The Korea Herald (Seoul)/Yonhap News Agency (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Taiwan, Barclays scale back 2012 growth outlook
    Both Barclays and Taiwan's Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics reduced their 2012 GDP growth forecasts for the country to a little more than 1% after a weaker-than-expected third quarter. The latest period saw year-on-year growth of 1.02%, short of forecasts of about 1.5%. "In the third quarter, the drag on growth came from consumption," said Leong Wai Ho, a Singapore-based economist at Barclays Capital. The Taipei Times (Taiwan) (11/2) , China Economic News Service (Taiwan) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Australian manufacturing index rises, but contraction persists
    A key Australian manufacturing index climbed to 45.2 last month but remained well below an expansionary level as the nation's strong currency and higher energy costs weighed on the sector. "Manufacturers continue to find the going very tough in the face of the strong [Australian] dollar, weaker demand in export markets and flat conditions across the non-mining sectors of the domestic economy, particularly in commercial and residential construction which has strong linkages with domestic manufacturing," said Innes Willox, chief of Ai Group, which compiles the index. (China) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry & Regulatory Update 

  People & Personalities 
  • Richard Hu Tsu Tau leaving GIC board
    Richard Hu Tsu Tau is stepping down from the board of the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. at the end of the month. Hu's appointment to the board in 1981 when he was chief executive of Shell Group was the first GIC board appointment that drew from the private sector. The Business Times (Singapore) (11/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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