Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 4.15% – leading gains in the region, while the growth-sensitive Hang Seng Tech index climbed 6.5%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component rose 1.1% to close at 11,914.32, and the Shanghai Composite finished 1% up at 3,312.35.
Hang Seng index, Daily chart
The appetite for risky assets increased this morning following the report from China’s National Bureau of Statistics that showed the widely watched official PMI manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rising to 52.6 in February, above the 50-point mark that separates growth from contraction, the highest since April 2012.
That’s compared to January’s reading of 50.1 and above expectations of 50.5, while the Non-manufacturing PMI also rose to 56.3 – above January’s reading of 54.4, the highest level since June 2022.
The robust macroeconomic data from China aligned with Moody’s forecast for a positive economic outlook, where the rating agency expects China’s real GDP to grow by 5% for both 2023 and 2024, up from its previous projections of 4.0%, supported by the rebound in consumer sentiment and pent-up demand for services, traveling and leisure after three years of pandemic-led restrictions.
Growth-sensitive Brent crude oil and Copper rose 1% to $84/b and $4.10/lb respectively, as the stronger-than-expected Chinese manufacturing activity data boosted optimism in the recovery of the world’s largest commodities importer.
China-trade and commodity currencies Australian and New Zealand dollars also got a boost to $0.6765 and $0.6250 respectively as the economic recovery in China could increase the demand for raw materials.
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