GLOBAL ECONOMY : Asia factory activity sputters as trade woes hit export orders..........

Factory activity in Asia weakened in September, with many trade reliant economies seeing a slump in export orders in a sign that escalating US-China tensions are taking a toll on business confidence.

Rising raw material costs are also squeezing profit margins for Asian manufacturers, raising questions of future investment and reinforcing views that   global economic growth  is shifting into lower gear.

Business surveys released  on Sunday and Monday  pointed to deteriorating  conditions across much of  the region in September, with gauges of  future activity offering little hope for a turnaround in the next few  months.

Some of the  immediate  gloom will be dispelled by news that that the United States and Canada had clinched a  last-gasp  deal on Sunday to salvage the  North American Free Trade Agreement  [NAFTA] , removing one of  major near-term risk in the  global outlook.

But that little to ease concerns in Asia over further signs of  cooling in China's economy and the risk of collateral damage for its neighbours as the trade war between  Washington and Beijing  grinds on.

Two manufacturing surveys from China on Sunday pointed  to weakening in the vast manufacturing sector.

A private poll showed  factory growth stalled after  15 months of  expansion, while an official gauge confirmed the sector was losing steam under the weight of shrinking export orders.

The first  major readings on China for September suggest the world's second-largest economy is continuing to lose momentum as domestic demand weakens and  US tariffs bite, a combination that is likely to prompt Beijing to roll out more growth-support measures.

However, analysts don't expect additional stimulus  to start stablising China's economy until at least early next year.

The honor and serving of the latest Operational Research on Trade Tariffs and  Wars continues.


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