The Straits Times
Published on Nov 22, 2012

Survey on China manufacturing lifts Asia stocks


BANGKOK (AP) - Asia's stock markets rose after a private survey showed manufacturing in China at a 13-month high, rare good news for the global economy. Sentiment also benefited from a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

HSBC's purchasing managers' index (PMI), which combines various measures of manufacturing activity in China, rose to 50.4 for the month. That was up from last month's PMI of 49.5 and September's PMI of 47.9. Readings above 50 denote growth. It was the first expansion in 13 months.

The survey shows that the "economic recovery continues to gain momentum towards the year end", analysts at HSBC said. "However, it is still the early stage of recovery and global economic growth remains fragile."

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 1.1 per cent to 9,319.36 - its highest level since May 2 - as a recently weakened yen provided a vital boost to the export-heavy index.