Business / Macro

China's factories spring to life as global trade reawakens

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-08-01 17:28

All of which helped offset a disappointing reading from Japan, which has been struggling to recover from a tax-induced slump in consumer spending.

The final Markit/JMMA Japan Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) fell to a seasonally adjusted 50.5 in July, from a preliminary reading of 50.8 and a final 51.5 in June.

China's factories spring to life as global trade reawakens
Infographic: China's economic performance in H1, 2014
China's factories spring to life as global trade reawakens
China June HSBC PMI shows first expansion in six months
In a brighter sign, new export orders grew for the first time in four months, albeit modestly. Policymakers have been counting on an export rebound to help ease the pain from the sales tax hike, but shipments have been stubbornly weak.

Parsing payrolls

For global financial markets, the quickening pulse in Asian trade was a welcome diversion from conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as Argentina's latest brush with default.

The US factory survey from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) due later Friday is also expected to tick up to 56.0 in July, which would be the best reading so far this year.

It will be preceded by the ever-influential US payrolls report for July which analysts expect will show another healthy gain of 233,000 net new jobs.

The unemployment rate is seen holding at 6.1 percent, which might be welcomed by investors worried that further tightening in the labour market might lead the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates earlier than otherwise.

Those concerns were inflamed on Thursday when data showed US labour costs rose by the most in more than 5-1/2 years during the second quarter.

They also got some of the blame for a sell off on Wall Street that saw the S&P 500 suffer its biggest daily loss since April.

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