French flash manufacturing PMI climbed to a 33-month high of 52.1 in March (flash 51.9) from 49.7 in February.
The sector enjoyed solid rises in production and new orders, employment increased fractionally, and input prices fell at the sharpest rate since July.
"With the sector having finally moved into expansion territory following a prolonged spell of weakness, firms will be looking for signs of a convincing recovery taking hold before looking to boost areas such as employment," Markit says.
The CAC 40 (EWQ) is +0.5%. (PR).