U.S. stock index futures rose Wednesday, the first day of March, as traders tried to recover their footing following a losing month. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 64 points, or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures advanced 0.3%, while Nasdaq-100 futures climbed 0.4%. Sentiment got a boost after the release of much stronger-than-expected data out of China. The country’s National Bureau of Statistics said its official manufacturing PMI rose to 52.6 in February — a high not seen since April 2012. The moves come after Wall Street closed out a losing February for stocks on Tuesday. The Dow led the averages down, closing the month down 4.19%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite shed 2.61% and 1.11%, respectively. February’s slide dragged the Dow into negative territory for the year, while the other two indexes are still holding onto their gains. The decline marked a turn from January’s rally and was prompted in part by the bombshell jobs data that came in the first week of the month, according to Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 517,000 in January, according to the report, which crushed the 187,000 estimated by economists polled by Dow Jones. “There was a turning point that we can all point to,” Buchanan said. “The market had a moment where participants realized that perhaps the labor market is tight enough to continue to set the stage for increasing hawkishness.” Investors will watch for economic data on construction and manufacturing coming after the market opens Wednesday. Asia-Pacific markets mostly rose as investors digested a slew of key economic data across the region. China’s National Bureau of Statistics also reported its official manufacturing purchasing managers’ index rose to 52.6 in February, the highest since April 2012. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 4.15% – leading gains in the region and the Hang Seng Tech index climbed 6.5%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component rose 1.1% to close at 11,914.32, and the Shanghai Composite finished 1% up at 3,312.35. The S&P/ASX 200 was down marginally to close at 7,251.6 after Australia’s economy for 2022 grew 2.7% on an annualized basis. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 0.26% to close at 27,516 and the Topix was 0.23% up at 1,997.81 as factory activity in February shrank at its fastest pace more than two years, a private survey showed. South Korean markets are closed to observe a holiday as the nation saw a narrowed trade deficit for the month of February. Oil slipped on Wednesday, giving up an earlier gain, as signs of ample supply and rising U.S. crude inventories countered hopes for higher demand arising from a jump in manufacturing in top crude importer China. U.S. oil inventories rose by 6.2 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 24, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute (API) data, ahead of official Energy Information Administration stocks figures at 1530 GMT. Brent crude was down 69 cents, or 0.8%, to $82.76 a barrel, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 76 cents, or 1%, to $76.29. Gold rose on Wednesday as strong Chinese economic data dented the dollar and drove some bets for better physical demand from the top bullion consumer, but the risk of elevated U.S. interest rates capped gains. Spot gold rose 0.3% to $1,832.79 per ounce, after hitting a two-month low in the previous session. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% to $1,839.80.
Roodeweg 222, Willemstad, Curaçao