(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open higher on Friday, as investors brace themselves for a day of purchase managers' index readings.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open up 66.54 points, 0.9%, at 7,490.00 on Friday. The index of London large-caps closed up 30.29 points, 0.4%, at 7,453.75 on Thursday.

In Asia on Friday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was down 0.2%. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was down 0.6%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed down 0.2%.

The Caixin Chinese manufacturing PMI improved to a three-month high in November. It rose to 50.7 points from 49.5 points a year earlier. Though only marginal, it marked the third time in the

past four months that the health of the sector has strengthened.

"Demand continued to grow, as the gauge for new orders remained in expansionary territory for the fourth consecutive month, hitting the highest since June. Compared with consumer goods and intermediate goods, the supply and demand of investment goods were weaker," said Wang Zhe, senior economist at Caixin.

Meanwhile, Japan's headline au Jibun Bank manufacturing PMI fell to 48.3 points in November from 48.7 in October. This signalled a deterioration in the overall health of the Japanese manufacturing sector.

The economic calendar still has a slew of manufacturing purchasing managers' index releases, including for the EU, Germany, the UK and the US.

In the US on Thursday, Wall Street ended mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.5%, the S&P 500 up 0.4% and the Nasdaq Composite down 0.2%.

US inflation pressures eased last month, according to the Federal Reserve's preferred price gauge, adding to the conviction that the next move in interest rates will be a cut.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the core personal consumption expenditures price index rose 3.5% in October from a year before, slowing from 3.7% inflation in September. The latest figure landed in line with the FXStreet-cited market consensus. The core reading, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, does not include food or energy.

Sterling was quoted at USD1.2642 early Friday, lower than USD1.2652 at the London equities close on Thursday. The euro traded at USD1.0907 early Friday, slightly lower than USD1.0909 late Thursday. Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY148.06, up versus JPY147.85.

Gold was quoted at USD2,041.55 an ounce early Friday, higher than USD2,038.85 on Thursday. Brent oil was trading at USD80.54 a barrel early Friday, lower than USD80.56 late Thursday.

In Friday's corporate calendar, Mind Gym, a personal and business coaching service, will post its half-year results.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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