Weak Japanese but surprisingly strong Chinese PMI numbers fire the flash on the latest snapshot of global factory activity. David Pollard reports.
China's production lines haven't been moving quite as fast of late. But could they now be picking up speed? Officials figures show a surprise rise in factory activity in the world's second biggest economy. Raising hopes that better may yet come. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "There is some signs that the headline increase in the official number does suggest that the hard landing that some may have feared on an ongoing basis over the course the last year or two doesn't look likely to come through .. The authorities are doing their level best to maintain that the downside risks do not crystallise and that we're going to have slow but steady growth through the medium run." Japan though appears to be just slow .... Its factory activity still below the 50 level that denotes growth. And the euro zone also disappointing - its reading dipped below earlier, flash estimate. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CIBC, HEAD OF FX STRATEGY, JEREMY STRETCH, SAYING: "There are still some pockets of optimism, or at least reasonable levels of robust activity, certainly from the manufacturing side in Germany. But if you look at France, where we have seen contractionary expectations being maintained for the last six months, and also Italy, notably, where we have seen substantial deceleration in sentiment back to below the 50 line for the first time since January 2015, then I think that does underline the sort of structural problems that are writ large in the euro zone, or at least parts of the euro zone." More central bank stimulus on the cards then from the ECB and the BoJ - say analysts. And, possibly, as early as this month. But not necessarily from the Bank of England. A bumper 10-month high to the UK PMI capping a run of seemingly Brexit-resistant data. That possibly putting off the prospect of it easing further until November at the earliest.