European stock markets rebounded from early losses today as a monthly survey showed factory output at a 10-month high in March, helped by strong growth in new business. Asian markets were lackluster after weak data from China and Japan. Futures point to a weak start on Wall Street. Benchmark U.S. crude oil slipped under $47.50 a barrel. The dollar gained against the yen and the euro.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Institute for Supply Management releases its manufacturing index for March later this morning. And the Commerce Department will issue construction spending figures for February. In Detroit, automakers are set to release vehicle sales for March. Monsanto Co. is scheduled to report its quarterly financial results.
BEIJING (AP) - Two surveys show China's manufacturing activity was anemic in February and industry faced more downward pressure on prices, adding to signs of economic weakness. HSBC Corp. said Wednesday that its monthly purchasing managers' index fell to 49.6 on a 100-point scale. Numbers below 50 show contraction. A separate index by an industry group edged up 0.2 points from February to 50.1. Both surveys showed prices of industrial goods declined.
TOKYO (AP) - A survey by the Japanese central bank finds Japanese businesses remain wary over the outlook for the world's No. 3 economy and generally plan to reduce capital investment. The Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" survey will likely reinforce the conviction among many that more stimulus is needed to sustain growth.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - The Department of Interior says it has affirmed a corrected environmental analysis for a 7-year-old petroleum lease in the Chukchi (chuk-CHEE') Sea off Alaska's northwest coast. That opens the door for the department to review a 2015 petroleum exploration plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC in Chukchi waters. The sale was challenged in a lawsuit by conservation and Alaska Native groups.