China, Japan stocks fall on weak manufacturing; Nasdaq high boosts Europe, other Asian markets

MarketsAssociated Press

Chinese and Japanese stocks fell Friday on weaker global manufacturing data while Europe and some Asian benchmarks rose after the U.S. Nasdaq index hit a new high.

KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France's CAC-40 rose 0.5 percent to 5,203.70 and Germany's DAX gained 0.7 percent to 11,801.43. Britain's FTSE 100 added 0.4 percent to 7,080.81. On Wall Street, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.2 percent at 2,110.50. Dow futures rose 0.2 percent to 2,110.50.

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NASDAQ RECORD: On Thursday, the Nasdaq rose 20.89 points, or 0.4 percent, to 5,056.06, above the record of 5,048.62 it set on March 10, 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble. The Nasdaq today is dominated by Apple Inc., which makes up 9.7 percent of the index, instead of shooting stars such as, Geocities or WebVan that flared and died in the dot-com bust.

MANUFACTURING WEAKNESS: A survey by HSBC Corp. found China's manufacturing activity weakened this month to its lowest level in a year in a new sign of economic weakness. A survey of Eurozone manufacturers by Markit Economics found activity slowed from March's four-year high. A similar survey in Japan showed a third straight monthly deceleration, suggesting industries are not fully in recovery from a recession brought on by a sales tax hike in April 2014.

ANALYST'S TAKE: "Disappointing manufacturing figures hurt European equities yesterday but focus today will be firmly on Greece" as negotiations over the terms of its international bailout continue, said Stan Shamu, a market strategist for IG markets, in a report. "There will be a Eurogroup meeting in Riga and, while all the recent commentary around Greece has shown constructive signs, it's hard to rule out fresh volatility on that front."

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 fell 0.8 percent to 20,020.04 and the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.5 percent to 4,393.69. Seoul's Kospi shed 0.6 percent to 2,159.80. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.5 percent to 5,933.30 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8 percent to 28,060.98. Singapore, Jakarta and New Zealand also advanced.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 5 cents to $57.81 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.48 on Thursday to close at $57.74. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 65 cents to $65.49 in London after gaining $1.12 on Thursday to close at $64.85.

CURRENCIES: The dollar declined to 119.40 yen from Thursday's 119.62 yen. The euro rose to $1.0895 from $1.0817.