French factory activity firms in August up despite euro surge - PMI

Dollar up in Asia with China manufacturing top data bill

The Caixin China manufacturing PMI for August came in at the six-month high of 51.6, topping a Reuters analyst poll.

Markit's purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the sector rose to 56.9, up from 55.1 in July, and against expectations of a fall to 55.

Britain's manufacturers stepped up production at the fastest pace in seven months in August, taking on more workers to keep up with strong demand from home and overseas.

To cope, companies stepped up the pace of hiring, which Gill said a current upswing in employment still had "far from run its course".

Going forward, Indian manufacturers remained cheerful around growth prospects, but concerns about the possibility of unexpected policy decisions weighed on confidence and the level of sentiment fell from July's 11-month high.

The dollar held stronger in Asia on Thursday with China manufacturing data coming in better-than-expected and investors generally upbeat on the regional view and chance s for USA tax cuts later this year.

"The rebound in August, led by the consumer goods, intermediate and capital goods sectors, suggests that manufacturing firms are now adjusting to the GST regime and that business is returning to normal", it added. Still, the domestic market was the prime source of new contract wins for the manufacturing sector, despite robust demand from mainland Europe, the US, China and Australia. Still, the PMI report showed input costs rising due to higher prices for energy, fuel and metals.

The manufacturing PMI rose by 0.5 points to 51.6 in August, the second highest reading of activity this year and the third consecutive month it has expanded after a period of softness earlier in the year.

"(The) survey showed growth moving broadly sideways, maintaining the recent positive trend of improvement in the health of the manufacturing sector", said Paul Smith, senior economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

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