China's manufacturing activity picked up pace to a three-month high in October, a private survey confirmed on Monday, but a breakdown of the numbers showed growth rates in key areas continuing to slow.
The HSBC final purchasing managers' index (PMI) for October came in at 50.4, unchanged from the flash reading and following the 50.2 print in September.
Growth in new orders and new export orders - proxies for domestic and foreign demand, respectively - slowed to their lowest in four to five months, but remained above the 50-point level, which separates expansion from contraction. The level of output in factories fell to a five-month low of 50.7.
This comes on the heels of China's official PMI for the same month released at the weekend, which fell to a five-month low of 50.8, from September's 51.1.
Chinese shares were modestly higher with the Shanghai Composite at a new 20-month high. The Australian dollar was little changed, down 1 percent against the U.S. dollar at a two-week low.
"Overall, [the data show China's economy] stabilizing at relatively slow rate of growth," said John Zhu, Greater China economist at HSBC. "It's still a situation where demand is still pretty subdued, both domestic and external. In our view, China is still running a gear or two below full speed."