The HSBC Chinese Manufacturing PMI released overnight printed in negative territory, sliding from 49.2 to 48.9 on expectations of a modest rise to 49.4. The contraction in manufacturing conditions highlights the continued struggle facing Chinese policymakers as they eagerly adjust policy to offset a slowdown in economic expansion. Nowhere is the softness in the economy more evident than the slumping revenues in gambling hub Macau which has seen casino revenue tumble 39% month over month, capping 11-straight months of declines. Bets on stimulus in the form of quantitative easing and other monetary easing measures have spurred gains in benchmark equity indices. Helping the ascent of the best performing stock market is the rapid buildup in new margin trading accounts, with over 4 million accounts opened in the fourth week of April. Stimulus bets could propel the Australian dollar higher despite an upcoming policy decision in which the RBA is expected to cut rates 25 basis points.