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S.Korea manufacturing up for 1st time in 7 mths

Published on Jan 2, 2013 8:11 AM
 
Workers sweep the floor in front of the final stock price index after the ceremonial closing event of the 2012 stock market at the Korea Exchange in Seoul on Dec 28, 2012. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korea's manufacturing sector expanded in December for the first time in seven months but new export orders fell, a private survey showed on Wednesday, underscoring a still fragile recovery in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The HSBC/Markit purchasing managers' index (PMI) on South Korea's manufacturing sector edged up to a seasonally adjusted 50.08 in December from 48.16 in November and 47.37 in October, Markit Economics said in a statement.

It was the first time since May that the index stood above the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction in manufacturing activity, but the recovery appeared fragile as the survey respondents reported a decline in export orders.

A sub-index on new export orders fell to a seasonally adjusted 48.86 in December from 49.63 in November, marking the seventh month of contraction on persistent worries about a possible U.S. fiscal crisis and the euro zone's troubles.

 
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