Standard Chartered Private Bank says it is on the hunt for acquisitions and is reported among the potential buyers if France's Societe Generale decides to sell its Asia private banking arm. "It's very challenging to make profit on a sustainable basis ... seeing some consolidation in the industry," said Rajesh Malkani, head of North and Southeast Asia for Standard Chartered Private Bank.
China's official purchasing managers index for September confirmed earlier private indications of little progress, with a reading of 51.1, up from 51 in August. The latest number was below the 51.6 forecast by economists. Nonetheless, the result indicates the government "should be able to achieve its 7.5% growth target" for the year, said Lu Ting, head of Greater China economics for Bank of America in Hong Kong.
Despite lagging exports, Australia's purchasing managers index for September registered an expansionary 51.7, reversing August's 46.4, indicating contraction. Those surveyed pointed to a lower Australian dollar, lower interest rates and a win for conservatives in recent elections.
Currency movements rather than machinations in the U.S. government dominated investor concerns in Asia-Pacific markets Tuesday. Traders said markets had already taken into account the likelihood of a U.S. shutdown.
The eurozone's economic recovery continued at its tepid pace with a 12.0% unemployment rate in August, identical to a revised reading for July. The latest readings, however, are down from the earlier record 12.1%, and the total number of workers without jobs declined slightly in August.