Solid China economic data helps Asian markets creep higher

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(CNN) — Asian markets advanced Monday after a couple of economic reports showed some signs of promise for China's manufacturing sector.

Manufacturing in China grew at its fastest pace in nearly three years, according to private survey data released Monday by the media group Caixin and research firm Markit.

The Caixin/Markit purchasing managers' index edged up from 51.7 in October to 51.8 in November — a sign of modest improvement.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1% on Monday, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.4%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.6% and China's Shanghai Composite improved 0.5%.

Over the weekend, China released official PMI data that showed an increase to an eight-month high of 50.2 in November, up from 49.3 in the previous month, according to government statistics. It was better than what the market expected, according to Refinitiv data.

This was also the first time the reading returned to the expansion territory since April. A PMI reading above 50 indicates expansion, while any figure below 50 signals contraction.

US futures rose during Asian trading hours Monday, too. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all up 0.3%.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Solid China economic data helps Asian markets creep higher."