• China will release official manufacturing PMI data for March on 1 April. 
  • Standard Chartered (SC) Research noted that it expects the index to have inched up marginally to 50.0 from 49.9 in February as factories reopened and businesses re-started operations after the Lunar New Year holiday. 
  • However, production and sales likely remained weak amid China’s current slowdown, especially compared with previous years. 
  • SC added that “we expect inventory destocking in the manufacturing sector to have continued, and still-high interest rates to have constrained manufacturers’ investment. We therefore expect the central bank to loosen policy further in the near term to boost growth and confidence. “

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