Factories across much of Asia posted another month of solid growth in March, while in Europe, PMI readings indicate businesses across the euro zone has ramped up activity at the fastest pace in almost six years. Sara Hemrajani reports.
Asian factories firing on all cylinders. Manufacturing figures showing another month of strong growth in March. China's factory output expanding at the fastest pace in nearly five years. And the picture is encouraging in Japan and India as well. But there are worries President Trump could dent Asia's trading power with his 'America First' agenda. Still, some analysts remain confident about the region. Soundbite: Ken Odeluga, Market Analyst, City Index, saying (English): "Essentially it's what we're talking about - Chinese exports and from the region in general. We know the region's mainstay is exporting and a lot of those exports go to the United States. For the moment, whilst we do have this rhetoric, whilst we do have these concerns, I don't necessarily see that there's any immediate risk to the pace, to the rate and the strength of the exporters in the region." An upbeat outlook in the euro zone too. Manufacturing activity in the bloc accelerating the most in almost six years. In fact, factories even struggled to keep up with demand in March. Soundbite: Ken Odeluga, Market Analyst, City Index, saying (English): "Europe is growing but I think the optimism has perhaps run a bit further than the pace of that growth. We need to be a bit more, sort of, conservative on our expectations of Europe." That note of caution perhaps warranted. A breakdown of the data reveals growth in Spain's factories isn't as buoyant. And Greek manufacturing has contracted for a seventh month in a row.