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China Posts First Export Increase in 9 Months

FILE - Security guards patrol the main gate of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone at the Pudong International Airport in Shanghai, China.

China says its exports surged in March to $160.8 billion, a sign that the world's second-largest economy is improving.

The 11.5 percent increase reported Wednesday by the customs department is the first since last June. On the other side of the ledger, imports declined 7.6 percent from a year earlier to $131 billion. The customs department says China finished March with a trade surplus of $29.9 billion.

The good news boosted Chinese stocks in early Wednesday trading, with the Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong indexes all gaining at or above two percent.