MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- European shares rose Thursday, buoyed by positive manufacturing data from Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and China. Investors are awaiting U.S. employment data later this week.
KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 was nearly flat at 6,780.68, losing some of its early gains. Germany's DAX rose 0.6 percent to 10,654.77. France's CAC 40 was up 1 percent at 4,489.33. U.S. futures augured a mixed opening on Wall Street, with the Dow futures up 0.2 percent at 18,439 and the S&P futures down 0.1 percent at 2,174.
CHINA MANUFACTURING: An official monthly survey of factory managers, a barometer for manufacturing activity, came in at a better-than-expected 50.4 in August, on a 1-100 scale where 50 marks the break between contraction and expansion. The results reflect improved expectations among Chinese factory managers and upticks in production and orders.
EUROPE MANUFACTURING: The U.K.'s August Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI), an indicator of the manufacturing sector's economic health, rose to 53.3 from a 41-month low in July of 48.3. It reflected a 10-month high and manufacturing production increased at the fastest pace in seven months despite the June vote for Britain to leave the European Union. Netherland's PMI posted a five-month high at 53.5. Germany, which has the strongest rate of expansion in the bloc, posted a PMI of 53.6 from 53.8 in July.
ANALYST'S TAKE: "While there will be a focus on tomorrow's U.S. jobs report, being by far the standout risk event this week, there is plenty of data being released throughout the day which should ensure it's a lively session," Craig Erlam, a senior market analyst at OANDA said in a commentary.
JAPAN'S MALAISE: A Ministry of Finance survey showed spending on factories and equipment in the April-June quarter was weaker than expected. The strength of the Japanese yen is pinching exporters who reaped windfall gains when the yen sank to near 120 yen per dollar. "Today's data on capital spending showed a fall that broadly matched the drop in non-residential investment in the preliminary estimate of Q2 GDP. The upshot is that the second estimate of GDP, due next Thursday, should confirm that the economy stagnated last quarter," Marcel Thieliant of Capital Economics said in an analysis.
ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets were mixed Thursday as China and Japan reported contrasting data on manufacturing and capital spending that provided mixed signals about the economic outlook. Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.2 percent up at 16,926.84. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.8 percent to 23,162.34. China's Shanghai Composite index fell 0.7 percent at 3,063.31. Australia's S&P ASX 200 lost 0.3 percent to 5,415.60 and India's Sensex climbed 0.3 percent to 28,533.60. Southeast Asian markets were mostly lower.
OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 10 cents to $44.60 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, it dropped $1.65 to $44.70 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 12 cents to $46.77.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 103.69 yen from 103.29 yen the previous day. The euro fell to $1.1149 from $1.1161