Emerging equities edged to one-week highs on Thursday, buoyed by positive data from China, while South Africa's rand hovered just off 3-1/2-year lows.

Chinese manufacturing activity hit a 13-month high in November, reassuring markets about the state of the world's No. 2 economy. Expectations are also rising that Greece will secure emergency aid.

Benchmark emerging equities rose nearly 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong-listed Chinese companies touched two-week highs.

“We had a positive reading on the PMI in China that gave a nice lift to Asian stocks,” said Luis Costa, head of CEEMEA FX and debt strategy at Citi. “Generally speaking there's been a positive feeling in the markets.”

South Africa's rand slipped 0.25 percent against the dollar, just off the 9 per dollar level it hit on Wednesday for the first time since 2009.

The Hungarian forint neared a one-month high on Thursday, with a firmer euro lifting central European assets.

The shekel rose 0.3 percent against the dollar to a two-week high as a ceasefire took hold between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers after eight days of conflict. - Reuters