Europe's darkest hour may finally be giving way to dawn.

Signs that the economic darkness over Europe is lifting are everywhere, giving investors hope that the region is ripe for investing. Among the promising signs of Europe's much-awaited daybreak: an improvement in the eurozone's PMI, or the purchasing managers index, a critical gauge of the economic health of the manufacturing sector. In August, it rose to its highest level in two years, moving even further above the critical 50 mark. The improvement was broad-based, covering Italy, Spain and Ireland, countries hard hit by a double-dip recession that nearly led to the breakup of the European Union.

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