S Korea manufacturing falls: HSBC PMI
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South Korea's manufacturing sector in October shrank for a fifth consecutive month but the pace of decline slowed, a private survey showed on Thursday, suggesting Asia's fourth-largest economy may be stabilising.
The HSBC/Markit purchasing managers' index (PMI) on South Korea's manufacturing sector edged up to a seasonally adjusted 47.37 in October from a 43-month low of 45.71 in September, Markit Economics said in a statement.
It was the fifth month in a row that the index remained below the 50-point mark that separates expansion from contraction in manufacturing activity.
Contrasting the rise in the overall reading, a sub-index on new export orders fell in October to a seasonally adjusted 46.99 from 48.64 in September, hitting the lowest in 10 months.
The slight rebound in the October PMI came after data showed on Wednesday the country's industrial output reversed a three-month run of declines in September to post a modest gain, although missing the market's consensus forecast.
South Korea's economy barely averted contracting in the July-September period on a quarterly basis, but policymakers have said growth will start to pick up from the current quarter on the back of stimulus measures put in place around the world.
In South Korea, the central bank cut the policy interest rate by half a percentage point to 2.75 percent in two steps since July while the government has offered nearly $12 billion in fiscal stimulus since late June.
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