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Monthly Archives: March 2012

China Has a Better Than Expected PMI Reading

China’s manufacturing expanded at a faster pace in February and a gauge for India showed sustained growth, indicating that Asian economies are maintaining momentum even asEurope’s debt crisis caps exports.

In China, the purchasing managers’ index rose for a third month to 51.0 from 50.5 in January, the statistics bureau and logistics federation said in a statement today. In India, a PMI released by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics was close to an eight-month high.

Today’s data, along with a surprise gain in Japanese companies’ capital spending and South Korea’s biggest increase in exports in six months, add to signs that global growth prospects are improving as the U.S. recovery strengthens and Europe works to contain its debt crisis. Asia’s benchmark index entered a bull market yesterday, led by gains in China Shipping Container Lines Co.

“Pent-up demand will produce an export-led bounce in Asian economic activity” now that Europe’s debt turmoil is receding, said Tim Condon, chief Asia economist at ING Financial Markets in Singapore, which accurately forecast today’s China PMI. result.

In China, the PMI’s level, above the expansion-contraction dividing line of 50, was the highest since September and compares with the 50.9 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. Economic data in the first two months are distorted by the weeklong Chinese New Year holiday.

A separate manufacturing index released today by HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics rose to 49.6 in February from 48.8 the prior month, the third straight improvement and the highest since October….”

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Japan Sees a Huge Capex Boost in Q4

“Japanese companies’ capital spending jumped by the most in almost five years in the fourth quarter, adding to signs that the world’s third-biggest economy is set to return to growth.

Capital spending excluding software rose 4.9 percent from a year earlier, after declining 11 percent in the previous quarter, the Finance Ministry said today in Tokyo. The first gain in three quarters compared with a median estimate of a 7.4 percent decline in a Bloomberg News survey of six economists….”

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Rumor: Apple to unveil 8GB iPad 2 alongside ‘iPad 3’ on March 7

Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes reported on Thursday that, according to sources within Apple’s “upstream supply chain,” the iPad maker will release the smaller capacity iPad 2 in order to cover a wider price range within the tablet market and fight off threats from upcoming Windows 8-based tablets.

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