(Alliance News) - Stocks in London are set to open higher on Friday, ahead of a slew of manufacturing data from across the globe.

IG says futures indicate the FTSE 100 to open up 49.9 points, 0.7%, at 7,679.92 on Friday. The index of London large-caps closed up 5.04 points, 0.1%, at 7,630.02 on Thursday.

In the US on Thursday, Wall Street ended lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.1%, the S&P 500 up 0.5% and the Nasdaq Composite up 0.9%.

US inflation pressure eased a touch at the start of the year, according to new data.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the core personal consumption expenditure grew 2.8% on-year in January, easing from December's 2.9% rise. The core PCE reading is the Fed's preferred inflation gauge.

The outcome came out in line with FXStreet cited consensus.

Sterling was quoted at USD1.2627 early Friday, lower than USD1.2636 at the London equities close on Thursday. The euro traded at USD1.0809 early Friday, lower than USD1.0811 late Thursday. Against the yen, the dollar was quoted at JPY150.37, up versus JPY149.82.

In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.3%, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong was up 0.4%.

Two survey readings painted a mixed picture of China's manufacturing sector activity in February.

According to China's National Bureau of Statistics, the manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in a 49.1 points in February, a touch below January's reading of 49.2 - a sub-50 reading indicates a contraction.

However, the Caixin China manufacturing PMI suggested a slight expansion, rising to 50.9 from 50.8.

"Helping to nudge the headline index higher was a slightly quicker rise in manufacturing production across China during February. Though modest, the rate of output growth was the fastest seen since May 2023, with companies generally attributing this to a sustained improvement in market conditions and greater new order volumes," Caixin said.

In Japan on Friday, the Nikkei 225 index in Tokyo was up 1.9%.

Japan's manufacturing activity deteriorated at a fasted pace in February, according to survey data. The au Jibun Bank PMI fell to 47.2, remaining in line with the flash estimate, from 48.0 in January.

The S&P/ASX 200 in Sydney closed up 0.6%.

Australia's manufacturing sector slipped back into contraction in February, as the Judo Bank PMI fell to 47.8 from January's nearly neutral 50.1 reading.

Gold was quoted at USD2,046.77 an ounce early Friday, higher than USD2,045.84 on Thursday. Brent oil was trading at USD82.20 a barrel early Friday, higher than USD82.13 late Thursday.

The economic calendar on the first day of March has a slew of purchasing managers' index, including China and Japan overnight. Numbers for the eurozone are reported at 0900 GMT, the UK at 0930 GMT and the US at 1445 GMT and 1500 GMT.

The local corporate calendar has annual results from education products publisher Pearson and property portal Rightmove.

By Sophie Rose, Alliance News senior reporter

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