Markets cautious

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    Asian markets hunkered down on Tuesday ahead of the first US presidential debate later in the global day, with investors also remaining cautious over the global economy’s prospects as coronavirus deaths surpassed the 1-million mark worldwide.

    US shares were set to open higher with E-mini futures for the S&P 500 up 0.43 percent, while London’s FTSE futures were up 0.22 percent and eurostoxx 50 futures were up 0.34 percent.

    “Globally, a loss of momentum and the renewed rise in COVID-19 infection rates points to the need for additional fiscal and monetary support. That policy outlook is continuing to provide a supportive backdrop to equities despite recent volatility,” ANZ Bank analysts wrote in a note.

    Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average edged up 0.22 percent into positive territory while China’s blue-chip CSI 300 index climed 0.51 percent.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.31 percent to 554.56.
    Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index however was down 0.24 percent, wiping out morning gains.

    Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index also fell back to trade flat after earlier touching its highest level in three weeks. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index lost 0.51 percent.

    Asian markets have been buoyed by positive signs around China’s economic recovery, although the coronavirus pandemic continues to wreak economic havoc globally and raise concern about high valuations.

    But trade in Asia was subdued ahead of China’s Golden Week holiday, from Oct.1-8, and other national holidays in the region.