China HSBC PMI at 52.3, better than expected (Barcelona) - China HSBC manufacturing PMI for the month of January came at 52.3 vs. 52.1 expected and a previous number in December of 51.9, "signalling a modest improvement of operating conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector for the third successive month" HSBC notes.

Commenting on the China Manufacturing PMI survey, Hongbin Qu, Chief Economist, China & Co-Head of Asian Economic Research at HSBC said: “A higher reading of January final manufacturing PMI implies that China’s manufacturing activity is gaining further steam on the back of improving domestic conditions. We see increasing signals of a sustained growth recovery in the coming months: the steady investment growth led by infrastructure projects, the improving labour market conditions boosting consumer spending, and the ongoing re-stocking process to lift production growth.”

Earlier on the day, manufacturing numbers from the government had come lower than expected, quite unusual, as the pattern is for the HSBC data to under-perform the government-published PMI.