Tokyo — Asian stocks rallied on Monday as positive Chinese factory gauges and signs of progress in China-US trade talks supported sentiment, although another defeat for British Prime Minister Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal added to sterling’s woes. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1% and the Shanghai Composite index rallied 1.7%. Australian stocks climbed 0.8%, South Korea’s Kopsi gained 1% and Japan’s Nikkei advanced more than 2%. The markets took heart after China’s official purchasing managers index (PMI) released on Sunday showed factory activity unexpectedly grew for the first time in four months in March. A private business survey, the Caixin/Markit PMI, released on Monday also showed the manufacturing sector in the world’s second-biggest economy returning to growth. If sustained, the improvement in business conditions could indicate that manufacturing is on a path to recovery, easing fears that China could slip into a sharper economic downt...

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