Markets set to open higher on upbeat China manufacturing data

China manufacturing

Chinese factory activity expands at fastest pace in nearly three years

Manufacturing activity in China expanded at its fastest pace in three years in November, according to a private survey released early Monday.

The Caixin Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) edged up to 51.8 last month from 51.7 in October, marking its fastest expansion since December 2016 and surpassing expectations for a reading of 51.4. The Caixin PMI survey mainly focuses on smaller private-sector factories.

Stocks set for a higher start

U.S. stocks look poised to open higher on Monday as the better-than-expected manufacturing data from China offered some comfort to market participants. At around 4:20 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were up 112.5 points, or 0.40% to 28,185.5.

The S&P 500 futures rose 12.13 points, or 0.39% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 31.62 points, or 0.38% to 8,449.12.

Oil futures inch higher

Crude oil futures also gained early Monday after the strong China manufacturing PMI helped lift sentiment.

Brent crude, the global gauge of oil prices, was up $1.21, or 2% to $61.70 per barrel at 4:20 a.m. ET. Meanwhile, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures climbed $1.21, or 2.19% to $56.38 a barrel.

Trump restores tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina

President Donald Trump has announced that he is restoring steel and aluminum tariffs against Brazil and Argentina. Trump accused the two South American countries of devaluing their currencies to make their exports to the United States more competitive.

“Brazil and Argentina have been presiding over a massive devaluation of their currencies. which is not good for our farmers. Therefore, effective immediately, I will restore the Tariffs on all Steel & Aluminum that is shipped into the U.S. from those countries,” he tweeted on Monday.

Trump also called on the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates in order to weaken the U.S. dollar.