World stocks rise on better Chinese manufacturing

Oct 24, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
Employees work on the floor of the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Tokyo, Thursday morning, Oct. 24, 2013.
(AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — World markets were mostly higher Thursday, buoyed by an improvement in China's manufacturing, but Chinese shares fell amid jitters over tighter credit in the world's second largest economy.

A weak start to the day for Asian stocks eased after a preliminary HSBC survey showed that China's manufacturing rose to a seven-month high in October, suggesting continued momentum for its economic rebound and pushing Asian stocks up.

Markets were higher in Europe where Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,692.47. Germany's DAX gained 0.5 percent to 8,964.02 and France's CAC-40 added 0.1 percent to 4,264.08.

Futures also pointed to a rebound on Wall Street. Both Dow futures and broader Standard & Poor's 500 futures were up 0.3 percent.

In Asia, China's Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9 percent to 2,164.32 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.7 percent to 22,835.82.

Some analysts said there were renewed fears of tighter credit in China after the central bank refrained from injecting funds into money markets for a third day. In the middle of the year, rates in the bank-to-bank lending market shot higher after unexpected efforts by the central bank to curb frothy credit growth.

The central bank "is managing the liquidity issues in a more prudent manner ... and perhaps this is the dawn of a more prudent, if not tighter policy settings," said Chris Weston, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia.

He said China's economy may have peaked at 7.8 percent growth in the third quarter but still expected it to remain high with an expansion of 7.5 percent next year.

"Taking a step back, it must be said that the Chinese authorities have done an excellent job in keeping its economy supported and promoting growth at a time when other emerging markets were seeing significant outflows," said Weston.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 14,486.41, Seoul's Kospi added 0.5 percent to 2,064.69 and Taiwan's benchmark gained 0.2 percent to 8,413.72.

In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude for December delivery was up 55 cents at $97.41 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.44 to $96.86 on Wednesday.

The euro rose to $1.3786 from $1.3774 late Wednesday. The dollar rose to 97.39 yen from 97.36 yen.