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