Most Asian stock market indices were trading higher on 3 May, including China's Shanghai Composite Index which was up 1.60% at 2,985.41 as of 4.39am GMT. This was despite data which indicated a contraction in manufacturing activity in the world's second largest economy.
The China Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), a closely-watched gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity indicated a contraction for the month of April. The index stood at 49.4 for the month. While this was lower than March's 49.7, it was also lower than a Reuters forecast of 49.9.
Traders are also said to be closely watching the Reserve Bank of Australia decision on rate cuts, which is due on 3 May. Analysts at ANZ said: "For the RBA, a rate cut is a close call, with reasonable arguments on both sides of the coin. First-quarter inflation data were weak, and underlying inflation now looks set to undershoot the RBA's target band until early 2017. On the other hand, the economy looks quite solid and low inflation is a global issue."
Indices in the rest of Asia traded as follows on 3 May at 4.51am GMT:
|Hong Kong||Hang Seng Index||20,833.33||Down||1.11%|
|Japan||Nikkei225(Holiday- Constitution Memorial Day)|
Meanwhile, overnight (2 May), the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 17,891.16, up 0.66%, while the FTSE 100 was closed due to the May Day bank holiday.
Among commodities, oil saw an uptick. On 3 May, WTI crude oil was trading 0.69% higher at $45.09 (£30.72, €39.09) a barrel, while Brent was 0.81% higher at $46.20 a barrel at 5.01 am GMT. Norbert Ruecker, head of commodity research at Julius Baer, said: "The market remains awash with oil. With the futures market now providing the opportunity to shale operators to lock in next year's prices at above $50 per barrel, we would not be surprised to see US oil output holding up against expectations. In brief, the latest rebound in oil prices is set to prolong the supply glut."