China data out over the weekend – big beat for March manufacturing PMI

Official
manufacturing and non-manufacturing purchasing managers indexes were
out from China on Saturday

Manufacturing PMI
for March came in at 51.5 (first increase on prior since November
last year)

  • expected 50.6, prior 50.3
  • Output sub-index 53.1 against 50.3 prior
  • export orders 51.3 (from 49.0)
  • new orders 53.3 (51.0)
  • factory jobs sub
    index improved to 49.1 (48.1) but still showed contraction

Non-manufacturing in
at 54.6

  • expected 54.6, prior
    54.4

Composite 54.0

Cited for the
manufacturing improvement were the easing of pollution controls
(which curtail manufacturing output somewhat) as winter ends,
activity in the construction sector boosted demand for steel (higher
output at steel mills).

As an impact on currencies, improvement in China should be a positive for the Australian dollar. let’s see what sort of impact there is on this holiday-effected trading day (New Zealand, Australia, hkkHong Kong all closed today … Singapore and Japan open).  

Due from China today is the private survey manufacturing PMI (Caixin / Markit). This is a different survey, with more of a focus on smaller firms and less on state-owned enterprises.   

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