Launceston — The return of China’s key manufacturing index to positive territory for the first time in six months has sparked optimism that commodity demand from the world’s biggest buyer of natural resources is poised to accelerate.

The official purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 50.8 in March from 49.1 in February, rising above the 50-level that separates growth from contraction, and reaching the highest since March 2023...

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