SHANGHAI, April 1 China shares closed higher on
Tuesday as weak manufacturing data fueled investors' hopes of
further stimulus measures to shore up economic growth.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 0.7 percent at
2047.46 points. The CSI300 of the leading Shanghai and
Shenzhen A-share listings closed up 0.8 percent.
On Tuesday, two surveys showed that manufacturing struggled
in March, with activity at smaller, private firms contracting
for a third month, adding to a run of disappointing data that
has sparked speculation of imminent government-led stimulus.
The official purchasing managing index (PMI) edged up to
50.3 in March from 50.2 in February, pointing to slight
expansion, but some economists said even that suggested weakness
given activity typically picks up more after the Lunar New Year
holidays in February.
The Markit/HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), which
focuses more on the private sector, fell to an eight-month low
of 48.0 in March. The index has been below the 50 level since
January, indicating a contraction this year.
Liquor companies also helped support Chinese indexes on
expectations of a rebound in the sector, after losses last week.
Kweichow Moutai Co Ltd rose 5.0 percent and Jiangsu
Yanghe Brewery Joint-Stock Co Ltd climbed 5.2
(Reporting By Natalie Thomas; Editing by Kim Coghill)