Overnight, Markit released October manufacturing PMI data for a big swath of the global economy. One notable area of weakness was EM Asia. While China’s Markit manufacturing PMI was up sequentially from 50.0 to 50.1, an average of seven other EM Asia economies (South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam) made new cycle lows. PMI readings above 50 indicate expansion, while readings below that level indicate contraction. The average for the seven economies is now right at 50, the joint-lowest since December 2016. We also note that China’s PMI tends to lead these economies’ somewhat, which leaves hope that the average won’t slip into contraction. On the other hand, four of the seven (Taiwan, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand) are in contraction already; the only other international manufacturing sector in that category of contraction for October was Turkey.

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