Asian Markets Mixed; Chinese Stocks Up as Manufacturing Activity Expands

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© Reuters. © Reuters.

By Gina Lee  Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday morning as a Chinese private survey showed a slight expansion in manufacturing activity in the country in March.

China’s  was up 0.78by 10:57 PM ET (3:57 AM GMT) while the  was up 0.83%. 

The Caixin Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for March was 50.1, higher than analyst predictions of 45.5 compiled by 

The PMI for February was 40.3 as the COVID-19 pandemic closed factories across the country. 

March’s PMI figure above 50 indicates an expansion, whilst the February figure indicated the sharpest contraction on record.

The Caixin report came after the official PMI report, released on Tuesday, also showed manufacturing activity in China unexpectedly expanded.


Although the survey showed improved business confidence amongst the small and medium business surveyed as output resumed gradually, Caixin and IHS Markit noted the challenges ahead in a press release.

“Demand conditions remained fragile, as highlighted by a second monthly fall in total new business,” they said.


The figures come as governments continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and the number of cases globally rises to 754,948 as of March 31 according to the World Health Organization.

“In the U.S., the data remains fairly worrying and the peak may well be a few weeks on,” Bob Parker, Quilvest Wealth Management investment committee member, said in an interview with Bloomberg as the U.S. recorded 140,640 cases.

Down Under, the  led the gains in Asia as its rose 3.73%. Japan’s  lost 1.05% whilst neighboring South Korea’s  gained 0.21%.


Hong Kong’s  slid 0.54%. 

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