3pm Markets Update

Updated: Tuesday 01 December 2015 15.28

US stocks opened higher on Wall Street today as improving economic data from the euro zone offset weak statistics from China

Chinese government data showed that manufacturing activity fell to the lowest level since August 2012. Euro zone data showed the purchasing managers index rose to 52.8 in November from 52.3, while unemployment data hit its lowest level in nearly four years in October.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones was at 17,792, up 72 points (0.4%), while the broad-based S&P 500 gained 10 points (0.48%) at 2,090 and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite index advanced 20 points (0.4%) to trade at 5,129. 

European markets were mixed this afternoon with London's FTSE gaining 43 points (0.67%) to stand at 6,399 on the back of a rise in the banking sector after it came through the Bank of England's stress tests unscathed. But the Paris CAC was down 20 points (0.4%) to 4,937 and the Frankfurt DAX dropped 55 points (0.5%) to 11,327.

Dublin's ISEQ index reversed its earlier losses to stand 11 points (0.17%) higher at 6,850. Shares in CPL Resources jumped 3.8% to €6.54, while Smurfit Kappa was up 1.8% to €26.3. Shares in Green REIT rose 3.8% to €1.58 while Donegal Investment Group soared almost 7% to €5.79.

Earlier in Asian trade, Tokyo's Nikkei index gained 265 points (1.3%) to finish at 20,012 while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong moved 385 points (1.7%) higher to close at 22,381 as investors responded positively to news that the Chinese yuan would be granted global reserve currency status.