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A roundup of trading on major world markets

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Published on: Thursday, June 02, 2016

US stocks have fluctuated before closing slightly higher as investors processed data on global manufacturing, US auto sales and inflation for clues about the Federal Reserve's next interest rate rise.

The Nasdaq eked out a gain to close higher for a sixth straight session on Wednesday.

Global manufacturing activity remained stuck in a rut in May with factory output from Asia, Europe and the Americas barely improving, surveys showed.

But major US stock indexes recovered from declines during the session after a report showed US manufacturing grew for a third straight month in May.

Stocks also improved as oil prices pared losses.

A fuller picture of the economy will come with Thursday's ADP employment report and Friday's payrolls data.

"There's an abundance of economic data this week that investors are confused on how to digest," said Jonathan Corpina, senior managing partner for Meridian Equity Partners in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 2.47 points, or 0.01 per cent, to 17,789.67, the S&P 500 gained 2.37 points, or 0.11 per cent, to 2,099.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 4.20 points, or 0.08 per cent, to 4,952.25.

LONDON - European shares fell, extending the previous session's losses and starting June on a muted note, with Sweden's Elekta the worst performer after a set of disappointing results.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index fell 0.5 per cent, extending the previous session's 0.8 per cent fall. The STOXX Europe 600 index also fell 0.5 per cent.

Both indexes had posted a third straight month of gains despite the falls on the last trading day of May. It was the biggest monthly rise for the indexes since November.

London's FTSE 100 lost 38.86 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 6191.93, while Germany's DAX fell 52.30 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 10,204.44.

HONG KONG - China stocks dipped the previous day's sharp rally, as growing optimism about MSCI adding mainland stocks to its emerging markets index was offset by worries over China's economy and a looming US rate rise.

The blue-chip CSI300 index fell 0.3 per cent, to 3,160.55, while the Shanghai Composite Index dipped 0.1 per cent, to 2,913.51 points.

There was little market reaction to the official and private surveys on China's manufacturing activity, which were roughly in line with expectations, underlining doubts that the world's second-largest economy is picking up.

Some investors took profit from Tuesday's more than three per cent surge in China's shares, which was underpinned by expectations that US market index provider MSCI could add mainland stocks to its emerging market benchmark for the first time.

David Dai, Shanghai-based investor director at Nanhai Fund Management Co, said any market rally was unlikely to be sustained.

"The economy is still weak, and the Fed will likely raise rates soon. I don't think the market will go up much further.

Tokyo's Nikkei fell 1.62 per cent, to 16,955.73 and the Hang Seng lost 54.11 points, or 0.26 per cent, to close at 20,760.98.

WELLINGTON - The S&P/NZX 50 Index shed 17.08 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 7,022.33.

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