China's manufacturing PMI edges up above 50 in March

China's manufacturing PMI edges up above 50 in March

Investors were also encouraged by recent trade developments.

Helped by expectations of a trade breakthrough, Chinese stocks have outperformed every other major market thus far this year.

South Korea's Kospi index rose 0.41 percent and Australia's benchmark ASX 200 was up by 0.41 percent. It had just posted its best quarter since 2010.

Oil prices posted their biggest quarterly rise in a decade during the January-March, as USA sanctions against Iran and Venezuela as well as OPEC-led supply cuts overshadowed concerns over a slowing global economy.

Both Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index and China's official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) grew in March, surprising analysts.

The Caixin China General Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which measures the manufacturing sector and is weighted toward private companies, came in at 50.8 in March, rebounding 0.9 percentage points from the previous month, Caixin magazine and research firm Markit said.

The robust economic data from the world's largest economies undermines the fears of a global economic slowdown. Yields on short-dated government bonds in the USA had fallen below those of longer-dated bonds, known as yield curve inversion and which has preceded every major recession.

The 3-month/10-year yield spread has since pulled back from negative territory and stood around 3 basis points.

Headline indices of the Mainland China equity market closed higher on Monday, 1 April 2019, as sentiment for equities bolstered by release of stronger-than-expected China's factory activity in March and amid optimism about U. S.

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Copper rose 1.68%, zinc climbed 1.6%, nickel advanced 0.93%, aluminium gained 0.31% and lead nudged up 0.07%.

European stocks also rallied, notching their best day since February 15, helped by gains in auto shares, coming on the heels of their best quarterly performance in three years.

China has made proposals in talks with the United States on a range of issues that go further than it has before, including on forced technology transfer, as the two sides work to overcome obstacles to a deal to end their protracted trade war, USA officials told Reuters.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was ahead 0.59% at 6,217.00, with gains coming from nearly all subindices.

The greenback had benefited from the flagging pound, which was on track to post its fourth day of losses in the wake of the ongoing Brexit saga.

The Chinese data also triggered a reversal of some of the gains in U.S. Treasuries. Strong China data for March pushed up basic resources by more than 2 percent. The Aussie is sensitive to shifts in the economic outlook for China, the country's main trading partner.

The latter, at least, is likely to continue to affect spending in popular tourist destinations: Hong Kong's retail sales fell by 10.1 percent in February, the government said on Monday, marking the steepest decline in three and a half years.

Oil prices rose, adding to gains in the first quarter when the major benchmarks posted their biggest increases in almost a decade, as concerns about supplies outweigh fears of a slowing global economy.

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