Asian stocks traded higher across the board early Thursday, holding on to gains despite a private survey showing China’s manufacturing activity at a one-year low.
HSBC’s preliminary reading of China’s factory activity for April came in at 49.2, compared with a Reuters forecast for a 49.6 print. Last month, government data showed the official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) edged up to 50.1, better than HSBC’s final PMI, which came in at 49.6 indicating the country’s vast manufacturing sector in contraction. The 50-point level separates an expansion in activity from a contraction.
Overnight, U.S. stocks closed about half a percent higher, ending a day of choppy trade as investors weighed mixed earnings and signs of strength in the housing market.
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