Asian stocks started the week mixed, following a rebound in global crude oil prices, but markets remained cautious ahead of the HSBC’s final reading of China’s factory activity for January, due at 0945 SIN/HK.
Economists polled by Reuters see the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) inching up to 49.8, slightly higher than HSBC’s final figure of 49.5 in December and in line with last week’s preliminary reading and an official survey announced at the weekend.
China’s factory sector unexpectedly shrank for the first time since September 2012 in January and firms see more gloom ahead, an official survey showed on Sunday. The 50-point level separates growth from contraction on a monthly basis.
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