European stocks may open a tad higher on Friday after data from IHS Markit showed China’s manufacturing sector expanded at the fastest pace since early 2017 in October, signaling an improvement in operating conditions for three months running.
The manufacturing PMI rose to 51.7 from 51.4 in September with the latest improvement the strongest since February 2017 as output and new orders both expanded at steeper rates.
Elsewhere, Japanese factory activity sank to more than a three-year low in October in a fresh warning sign for the world’s third-largest economy.
Closer home, IHS Markit is slated to publish U.K. factory PMI data for October later in the day. The manufacturing PMI is forecast to fall to 48.2 from 48.3 in September.
Across the Atlantic, the Labor Department’s closely watched monthly jobs report is likely to be in focus, overshadowing separate reports on manufacturing activity and construction spending.
Asian markets traded mixed after a Bloomberg report cast doubt on the prospects of a long-term U.S.-China trade deal. Investors appeared somewhat soothed by Trump’s comments that the U.S. and China are working on a new site to sign phase one of the trade deal.
The dollar hovered near a three-week low against the yen while gold edged down but remained on track for a second weekly gain amid increased uncertainty surrounding the U.S.-China trade deal.
Oil prices gained ground but remained on track for a weekly loss of about 4 percent on concerns over the outlook for energy demand.
U.S. stocks ended lower overnight as investors reacted to mixed earnings and more evidence of a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing activity.
Investors were also spooked by a new report from Bloomberg suggesting that Chinese officials are unwilling to budge on the thorniest issues and have cast doubts about reaching a comprehensive long-term trade