Manufacturing PMI remains flat at 51.4 in September

China urges 'calm and rational' resolution to U.S.-Sino trade war

Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan attends a news conference in BeijingMore

US factory activity shrank for the second straight month in September, hitting the lowest level in more than a decade as President Donald Trump's trade wars take a toll on American manufacturing.

The ISM's index fell 1.3 points to 47.8 per cent in September, the lowest since June 2009 and well below the 50 rating that separates growth from contraction.

The IHS Markit India Manufacturing PMI was at 51.4 in September, unchanged from August and thereby posting its joint-lowest reading since May 2018.

(Anything below 50 on the index signifies contraction.) The good news was that forecasters expected an uptick this month, with economists surveyed by MarketWatch predicting a total of 50.2 percent.

The latest PMI data suggested that business conditions in Malaysia's manufacturing sector remained challenging in September, although there were signs of improvement as the new orders and output indices both increased.

"It appears that firms are losing hope of there being an end in sight for the US-China trade war, which looks to be dampening export orders at an accelerated pace in the Philippines".

"As I predicted, Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve have allowed the Dollar to get so strong, especially relative to ALL other currencies, that our manufacturers are being negatively affected", Trump said on Twitter in yet another attack on the independent institution.

Combined with a tepid inflation reading from the eurozone, and confirmation that British GDP contracted in the second quarter, the figures rekindled fears over worldwide growth. This could be an indication that the tariff war is affecting US manufacturing negatively.

Thomas Simons, a Jefferies economist, said the manufacturing contraction does not underpin a wider softening in the U.S. economy, as it was the result of several factors, including Boeing Co's production issues relating to its best-selling jets.

Export orders also dropped to 41% from 43.3% in August, according to the ISM data. ISM did say that the overall economy posted growth for the 125th consecutive month.

Stock markets on both sides of the Atlantic took a steep downward turn on Tuesday after a U.S. survey pointed to the worst level of manufacturing contracts in a decade. US manufacturing activity tumbled as lingering trade tensions weighed on exports, further heightening financial market fears of a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the third quarter.The euro was up 0.36 percent at $1.0936. Instead, manufacturing recorded its sixth straight monthly decline and its second month in contraction. A Fed measure of production already signaled USA manufacturing is in a recession when it contracted in the first half of this year.

One respondent from the electrical equipment sector summed it up: "Economy seems to be softening".

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