BANGKOK (AP) -- World stock markets faded Monday as a worsening downturn in European manufacturing compounded fears of a recession there.
Benchmark oil slipped below $103 per barrel. The dollar fell against the euro and the yen.
European shares were mostly lower following the release of a survey that showed manufacturing output worsened in March in the 17 countries that use the euro. While Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 5,762.23 in early trading, Germany's DAX slipped 0.1 percent to 6,940.50 and France's CAC-40 lost 0.5 percent to 3,405.97.
Wall Street was poised to los ground, with Dow Jones industrial futures down 0.1 percent to 13,126 and S&P 500 futures marginally lower at 1,402.50.
Some Asian markets advanced on the heels of a report Sunday that said Chinese manufacturing gained momentum in March, helped by a recovery in the auto, tobacco and electronics sectors.
Japan's Nikkei 225 index gained 0.3 percent to close at 10,109.87 despite businesses remaining pessimistic in the central bank's latest quarterly "tankan" survey.
South Korea's Kospi added 0.8 percent to 2,029.29 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was 0.1 percent lower at 4,329.30. Benchmarks in Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand rose.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.2 percent to 20,522.26, dragged down by a corruption scandal involving Sun Hung Kai Properties, the Chinese financial hub's largest property developer by market value. Markets in mainland China were closed for a public holiday.
On Sunday, the state-affiliated China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing said that its purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose 2.1 points to 53.1 in March, up from February's 51.0 and January's 50.5. A reading above 50 signifies expansion.
A rise in new factory orders suggests a recovery in some industries, though an earlier set of data, from HSBC, showed manufacturing continuing to contract.
HSBC'S index, which tends to reflect trends in the export sector more strongly than the official index, has remained below 50 for five straight months, and recorded its lowest average reading in three years in the first quarter, HSBC said.
But analysts at Credit Agricole CIB in Hong Kong said called the official reading on China manufacturing "surprisingly upbeat" and said set the stage for a strong week in stock markets.
"Investors will watch PMI readings from other regional economies, including Korea, Taiwan and India. If they also improve, the story of Asia regaining momentum ... would provide more lasting support for markets," Credit Agricole said in a report.
The data from China boosted Australia's raw materials sector, whose fortunes are largely tied to Chinese demand. BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, jumped 1.5 percent. Fortescue Metals Group gained 2.4 percent. Rio Tinto Ltd. rose 1.2 percent.
Japan's Hitachi Ltd. jumped 3.6 percent, a day after announcing it concluded an agreement with the Lithuanian government to build a nuclear power plant, Kyodo News agency said.
In Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties was down 2.1 percent after the company's chairmen, billionaire brothers Thomas and Raymond Kwok, were arrested Thursday on bribery charges. The stock has tumbled more than 15 percent since Friday.
"The market is still being rocked by the scandal," said Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings in Hong Kong.
Benchmark oil for May delivery was down 50 cents to $102.52 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 24 cents to settle at $103.02 per barrel in New York on Friday.
In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3344 from $1.3334 late Friday in New York. The dollar fell to 82.71 yen from 82.86 yen.
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