China’s economy gave encouraging signs Wednesday morning as HSBC's flash Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 49.1 from September's final reading of 47.9.

A number above 50 represents expansion for manufacturing activity, while anything under 50 signals contraction, and the index has under 50 for a year as of the October report.

The "flash" version of the HSBC PMI is based on initial responses from 85 to 90 percent of those surveyed, MarketWatch reports. Sub-indexes covering manufacturing output and new orders also advanced.

Asian stocks came off their lows following the data release, with the Hang Seng Index down 0.2 percent compared to its early loss of 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index was down just fractionally after trading 0.3 percent lower at the start of the session, MarketWatch said.