China’s official manufacturing PMI rose to 51 in August from 50.3 in July, taking it to the highest level since April 2012.
"The strength in new orders bodes well for the future," says ABN Amro in its Global Daily Insight. "The Chinese economy is regaining its footing, helped by strong western demand."
Meanwhile, news from Japan also provided a more positive tone on Asia’s economic activity.
Japan's industrial production rose by 3.2% in July, more than undoing the 3.1% drop the month before, while firms expected further gains in August and September. This also explains why the manufacturing PMI rose from 50.7 to 52.2 in August. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped from 3.9% to 3.8% in July, whilethe job-to-applicant ratio remained on an upward trend.