China PMI lifts in March

Official gauge of manufacturing in China beats expectations in March.

China's official gauge of its manufacturing sector rose slightly in March, but although the index came in ahead of expectations, it is not likely to completely assuage fears of a slowdown in factory activity in the world's second largest economy.

The monthly purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.3 in March after recording 50.2 in February, according to the government's National Bureau of Statistics and the China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing.

Any figure above the 50 mark indicates expansion of manufacturing activity while anything below that signals contraction.

The result is slightly ahead of broad market estimates for a reading of 50.2.

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