As expected, Chinese official manufacturing PMI, which focuses on larger state-owned enterprises, edged up to 50.3 in March from 50.2 in February. (PR)
The HSBC index, which gives more weight to smaller private companies, slipped to 48 (flash 48.1) from 48.5. Output and new orders contracted at faster rates, although new export orders returned to growth. Input costs and output charges fell sharply.
HSBC says that its reading confirms the weakness of domestic demand. "This implies that 1Q GDP growth is likely to have fallen below the annual growth target of 7.5%. We expect Beijing to fine-tune policy sooner rather than later to stabilize growth," HSBC says. (PR)
The Shanghai Composite is +0.5%.
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