China HSBC/Markit manufacturing PMI fell back to 49.2 in March from 50.7 in February, according to the flash reading. This was the latest in a string of disappointing data out of China in the first quarter and suggests that the economy probably slowed sharply in Q1. “We see no reason for the final reading (02.45 BST) to differ from the flash. We also forecast the official PMI (02.00 BST) to have weakened, to 49.6 from 49.9. Looking ahead, we expect the deceleration in growth to moderate in coming months as policymakers step up fiscal spending and carry out further cuts to the required reserve ratio and benchmark interest rates.” – said Capital Economics in a report on Tuesday

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