China's manufacturing activity expanded for the first time in six months in June, a private survey showed on Monday, adding to evidence the world's second-biggest economy is stabilizing.
A flash reading of the HSBC/Markit purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 50.8 versus the 49.4 final reading in May, above the 50-level that demarcates expansion from contraction.
The cheer in markets was immediate: Australian dollar rose a quarter of a cent against the greenback, while Asian stocks widened their gains with Australia's benchmark index leading gains by 0.7 percent.
The survey showed an across-the-board improvement in China's vast factory sector, with most of the 11 sub-indices accelerating from previous months.
The sub-index for new orders for one, a proxy to measure domestic and foreign demand, rose to 51.8 at the fastest pace in 15 months.