Here’s what’s shaking:
Europe’s stock markets were broadly higher Thursday as investors welcomed surveys showing a smaller than forecast contraction in both manufacturing and services in the 17-country eurozone this month. That came after overnight data showing a pickup in China’s factory production as well as strong tech earnings that spurred Wall Street to rally to a five-year high.
Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,214.89. Germany’s DAX gained 0.1 percent to 7,711.67 and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.2 percent to 3,733.78.
Wall Street appeared headed for a day of muted trading, with Dow Jones industrial futures barely changed at 13,722 while S&P 500 futures fell 0.2 percent to 1,488.
Surprisingly enough, grim employment data in Spain also failed to dent markets optimism. Spain’s unemployment rate shot up to a record 26.02 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, leaving almost 6 million Spaniards out of work, the country’s statistics agency said.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rose 1.3 percent to close at 10,620.87. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.5 percent to 4,810.20, its highest close since May 2011. Benchmarks in Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines also rose.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3323 from $1.3321 late Wednesday in New York. The dollar rose to 89.5890 yen from 88.66 yen.
The price of oil recovered slightly on Thursday, after a large fall the previous day, thanks to a survey showing China’s manufacturing sector is might be on the upswing.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark oil for March delivery was up 29 cents to $95.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On Wednesday, the contract dropped $1.45 after crude shipments through the Seaway pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma, to refineries on the Gulf Coast had to be cut to less than half because of limited endpoint capacity.
Brent crude, used to price international varieties of oil, was down 16 cents to $112.64 per barrel on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Also, while you’re here, why don’t you head on over to this report and see how unemployment claims are doing.
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The AP contributed to this report.