Weak demand hits Chinese manufacturing

|By:, SA News Editor

Chinese shares gained today, extending a whirlwind first quarter rally, as new data reinforced the case for more easing in the world's second largest economy.

HSBC's China Manufacturing PMI dropped to a final reading of 49.6 in March from 50.7 in February, falling below the 50-point level that separates an expansion in activity from contraction.

Last month, China set an annual growth target of about 7%, down from actual growth of 7.4% in 2014 - its slowest pace in nearly a quarter century.

Chinese stocks: Shanghai +1.3%; Hong Kong +0.6%.

ETFs: FXI, EWH, KWEB, PGJ, YINN, GXC, FXP, ASHR, HAO, TAO, YANG, CHIQ, CQQQ, CHIX, MCHI, QQQC, PEK, XPP, YAO, YXI, CHXF, ECNS, FCA, CN, CHII, CHIE, CHIM, EWHS, FCHI, ASHS, KFYP, CNXT, CHNA, KBA, FHK, AFTY

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