• Chinese manufacturing data smashed expectations, boosting global stocks Monday.
  • March purchasing managers’ index figures came in at their highest levels since 2012, beating economists’ predictions and sparking a rally in Asian markets.
  • US futures surge after a strong finish to the first quarter amid improved sentiment.

Global markets rallied Monday after Chinese industrial data smashed predictions and painted a rosier-than-expected picture of the world economy.

Both the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index and China’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index grew, with China’s official one rising to 50.5 from 49.2, its best performance since 2012, according to Bloomberg. The Caixin China PMI, which focuses more on smaller firms, rebounded to 50.8 in March after recording below 50 – the level separating expansion from contraction – for the past three months, according to Oxford Economics.

Equities have been boosted by expectations that central banks will look to provide accommodative monetary policy. Though China’s figures look positive, the lagging demand out of the country will continue to weigh on the rest of the region in the near term, Oxford Economics said.

US-China trade-war talks resume this week with Vice Premier Liu He set to lead a delegation to Washington following negotiations in Beijing.

Europe slump

Figures in China weren't matched in Europe. PMI data indicated a grim future, with factories showing their worst numbers in six years.

IHS Markit's March final manufacturing purchasing managers' index fell to 47.5, an eighth month of consecutively lower figures, after February's 49.3, and the lowest level since April 2013, according to Reuters.

Here's the roundup:

  • In futures, the Nasdaq was up 1% early Monday while the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average were trading up 0.7% as of 9 a.m. in London (4 a.m. ET).
  • European markets were also higher, with the Euro Stoxx 50, the CAC 40, and the FTSE 100 all up 0.8%, while Germany's DAX rose 1.2%.
  • In Asia, the Shanghai Composite closed up 2.6%, continuing a strong rebound from Chinese equities. The Nikkei also closed 1.4% up.
  • Oil continued its strong recent efforts, with West Texas Intermediate up 0.9% at $60.70 a barrel, its highest in 20 weeks, according to Bloomberg. Brent crude is also trading up 1.4% as output cuts bolster the market.