Risk markets have had a positive start to the second quarter after a pick-up in Chinese manufacturing activity added to positive sentiment generated by progress in trade talks between China and the United States last week.
The official Purchasing Managers' Index reading increased to 50.5 from a three-year low of 49.2 in February, while the non-manufacturing PMI showed a small increase to 54.8 last month from 54.5 previously. The Caixin manufacturing PMI reading increased to 50.8 in March from 49.9 in February.
A rise in new orders and output suggests recent fiscal and monetary stimulus has fed through to bolster the economy. However, export demand remains muted, reflecting economic headwinds elsewhere.