European stocks rose Thursday after economic data from China and the U.S. came in stronger than expected and ahead of keenly-watched eurozone inflation and unemployment figures.
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.4% shortly after markets opened, driven by a 0.6% climb in Germany's DAX.
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A major Chinese business survey helped to spur a 1.7% rise in the Stoxx 600's basic resources sector, with the August manufacturing purchasing manager's index above expectations at 51.7. Any figure above 50 indicates that the industry surveyed is growing is growing.
Eurozone consumer-price index data and unemployment figures are being released Thursday, with investors watching closely for continued signs of strength in the bloc's economy.
"Everyone's used to writing gloomy stories about Europe, but you're starting to get a nicely aligned, coordinated economic upswing," said Stewart Robertson, senior economist at Aviva Investors.
"There's been a great deal more political harmony than anyone had really expected at the start of the year," he said. "But inflation is still struggling to come back."
In Asia, the Nikkei Stock Average closed up 0.7%, after weakening in 14 of the past 19 trading sessions, leaving the index down for August.
Many other markets in the region are poised to emerge from a volatile summer largely unscathed, with double-digit gains for the year.
In China, the Shenzhen A Share index was up 0.3% shortly after European markets opened, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.6%
"The summer break sees investors returning to markets not looking much different from when they left," wrote Mark Tinker, head of AXA IM Framlington Equities Asia. Markets witnessed bouts of selling in August over tensions between North Korea and the U.S., though shares mostly recovered within a short span.
On Thursday, gains for the U.S. dollar drove Japanese equities as the greenback recouped some losses made earlier in the week, after the U.S. reported its fastest pace of economic growth in more than two years. The economy in the second quarter grew 3% compared with the same period a year ago, beating market expectations.
In foreign-exchange markets, the WSJ Dollar Index ticked slightly higher, up 0.1% after rising 0.43% Wednesday. Against the yen, the greenback rose 0.2%, back above 110. The euro climbed was broadly flat against the dollar at $1.188.
Write to Mike Bird at Mike.Bird@wsj.com and Kenan Machado at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 31, 2017 05:06 ET (09:06 GMT)