(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, March 24 Australian shares reversed
early losses to rise 0.2 percent on Monday as investors piled
into cheaper banks and resource stocks, though gains were capped
as a manufacturing PMI survey for China showed reduced activity
Activity in China's factories shrank again in March as
output and new orders both weakened, a preliminary private
survey showed. The flash Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index
fell to an eight-month low of 48.1 in March from February's
final reading of 48.5.
The S&P/ASX 200 index added 8.8 points to 5,346.9 at
the close of trade. The benchmark bounced 0.8 percent on Friday
and added 0.2 percent last week.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1
percent to 5,118.6.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Borsuk)