Market Buzz: Hope springs into spring
China’s manufacturing activity improved in April from levels seen in March, according to HSBC’s preliminary report on China manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index. HSBC's so-called "flash" PMI rose to 49.1 in April, compared to 48.3 in March. However, the reading remained below 50, indicating contraction.The data on Chinese manufacturing activity eased losses on Asian markets, which opened lower on Monday. China’s Shanghai Composite and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 each fell 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng traded down 0.5%, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average lost 0.3%, while South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.1%. Meanwhile, most US stocks rose on Friday, supported by strong corporate earnings from McDonald's, General Electric and Microsoft. But declines in banks and technology shares weakened the growth. The Dow Jones gained 0.5%, while the S&P 500 gained 0.8%.European markets closed higher on Friday, with banks growing after an unexpected rise in a German business-climate index. The Stoxx Europe 600 added 0.5% at 257.79, while the German DAX 30 rose 1.2%Russian trades finished higher on Friday with the MICEX growing 0.57% and the RTS gaining 0.62%. Energy companies E.ON Rossia (+2.18%) and RusHydro (+2.86%), as well as Surgutneftegaz oil producer (+3.37%), were among best performers. “The week’s trades closed in positive territory, though the growth was rather symbolic. But it could be considered as a strong signal that boosts chances for turning around the current downwards trend,” according to Aleksandr Baibakin from Nettrader.