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Asia stocks gain as China manufacturing improves

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BANGKOK (AP) — Asian stock markets were mostly higher Thursday, supported by Congress averting a U.S. government default and a pickup in China's manufacturing in January. HSBC Bank said its China manufacturing index rose to a two-year high of 51.9 in January from 51.5 in December. A reading above 50 indicates expansion on a scale of 100. Analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said...