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FXPRIMUS Market Brief of the Week: March Global Manufacturing PMIs May Test the 1Q Recovery

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE -- (Marketwired) -- 03/25/14 -- In FXPRIMUS' Market Brief of The Week for 24 March, the brokerage firm's Senior Economist, Jimmy Zhu, looks at importance of the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) in economic recovery.

Economic Insights

China March flash manufacturing PMI nearly confirms the subdue 1Q growth

China's manufacturing industry weakened for the fifth straight month to 48.1, according to the HSBC flash manufacturing PMI, deepening concern for the nation will miss its 7.5% growth target this year if there is no immediate policy response. Chinese stocks rebounded from the early losses, as speculation arises that weakening growth will prompt policy makers to reconsider their aversion to broad stimulus measures. After the news last Friday banks in China could start to issue preference shares. Now, leaders face the challenge as they need to defend its 7.5% growth target and progress its reform agenda at the same time; it will not be an easy task.

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Here is the reason why HSBC manufacturing PMI is important for the global investor. One advantage is that they're among the first gauges for each month, as government reports on trade, industrial output and retail sales typically are released several weeks later. So the prices will start to move from there, and corrected later after the trade data and more are released.

China won't use large-scale fiscal stimulus to spur investment and will focus on the quality of growth, Finance Minister Lou Jiwei said yesterday. The nation will pay more attention to the environment and reduce overcapacity, Lou was cited as saying. But it also hints us that the "targeted stimulus" or "mini stimulus" similar to those last year will be exercised later on if the growth has no signs of recovery. The recent economic data and retention of the same growth target as last year have spurred speculation that China will loosen monetary policy.

Euro Area and the U.S. will release its PMI this week. The Euro Zone composite PMI for March may remain at 53. The index has been above the 50 threshold since July, and this is one of the key reasons to support the Euro against the greenback. Besides the Euro zone PMI, the IFO Business Climate Index, might fall to 110.9 due to the recent higher Euro currency, dampening the exporters confidence.

The U.S. Markit PMI will provide a new point of comparison with ISM data. Both industrial production this week and the ISM at the beginning of the month have exceeded expectations, suggesting growing strength in the recovery underneath the recent weather effects.

Top News This Week

German Flash Manufacturing PMI

I expect figures to come in at 54.6

German IFO Business Climate

I expect figures to come in at 110.9


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