America’s factories just suffered their worst month in a decade

U.S. Factory Contraction Got Worse in September

Compounding the drying up of new orders, which are commonly viewed as the engine that drives manufacturing, is that the level of backlog of orders has "pretty much gone away, according to Fiore, which, in turn, has a negative impact on manufacturers' ability to keep employment levels up".

Asian indexes fell with the Shanghai Composite down 0.9%, Japan's Nikkei down 0.5%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng down 0.4%.

ISM's trade gauges showed American producers are struggling with headwinds from overseas as well as the effects of a resurgent dollar. The export order portion of the index hit 41.0, the third straight month of contraction. Three industries reported growth in new orders in September versus 11 industries with declining new orders. "There needs to be some relaxation here in trade".

USA equities have fallen broadly for two consecutive sessions amid mounting fears among investors of a possible economic recession. "Most of the materials are not made in the US and made only in China", said an executive at a food and beverages manufacturer. Now Trump has to campaign against a similarly weak backdrop.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump blamed the weak manufacturing data on the Federal Reserve, which he blasted as "pathetic" in a post on Twitter. Markets had been expecting the index to rise back above 50. A Fed measure of production already signaled USA manufacturing is in a recession when it contracted in the first half of this year.

Timothy Fiore, chair of ISM's manufacturing survey, told reporters the index was unlikely to see a meaningful recovery so long as demand remained low.

Yesterday, the ISM (Institute for Supply Management) and IHS Markit released their USA manufacturing PMI data for September. The Chicago PMI gauges manufacturing activity in the Chicago area. The International Monetary Fund, already projecting a 3.2% growth pace this year that would be the slowest since the financial crisis, will release an updated estimate later this month as policy makers from across the world gather in Washington for the fund's annual meeting.

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Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, said in a note that the slump in the ISM manufacturing index to a decade low will reignite fears that the USA economy is heading for a recession.

President Donald Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for US manufacturing's difficulties, arguing that the Fed's rate hikes a year ago pushed up the value of the dollar, which makes USA goods more expensive overseas.

Gold rose to $1,479.80 per ounce from a two-month low of $1,459.50 hit on Tuesday on the back of a robust us dollar.

There was little sign among survey respondents that a three-week nationwide strike by auto workers or recent gyrations in oil prices had caused difficulties, he added, although that could change if the strike at General Motors persists. The work stoppage has spilled over to effect suppliers including American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc., which has temporarily laid off staff.

The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing PMI composite index fell to a reading of 47.8 from 49.1 in August (see top chart).

New orders, which are commonly referred to as the engine that drives manufacturing, eked out a slight 0.1% gain to 47.8, contracting for the second straight month after growing for 43 consecutive months over which time it had a cumulative average of 58.5.

Hiring accelerated less than expected in September, the ADP Research Institute said Wednesday.

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