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May 27, 2017

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World stocks mostly up after China factory data

SEOUL/HONG KONG--Japan led gains in global stock markets Thursday after a manufacturing survey suggested the slowdown in China's economy is flattening out and Fed minutes reinforced expectations the U.S. central bank won't rush to raise interest rates.

News of a military coup in Thailand came just as country's stock market ended its trading session. The dollar gained about 0.3 percent against the Thai baht.

HSBC's China manufacturing index based on a survey of factory purchasing managers rose to 49.7 in May from 48.1 in April. Numbers above 50 on the 100-point scale indicate expansion. May's reading was the best result in five months, showing that China's economy is stabilizing after mini-stimulus measures.

European stocks were muted. Britain's FTSE 100 inched up 0.1 percent to 6,830.75 and Germany's DAX was up 0.1 percent at 9,709.12. France's CAC-40 was slightly lower, losing 0.3 percent to 4,455.88.

On Wall Street the Dow rallied 0.97 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 0.81 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.85 percent.

While the preliminary reading of China's manufacturing infused optimism, Vishnu Varathan at Mizuho Bank in Singapore said it does not mean that the world's No. 2 economy is accelerating.

The HSBC index "pick-up is at best a consolation about downside risks being mitigated rather than exuberance about an impending acceleration in activity," he said.

In the United States, minutes from the Fed's April committee meeting showed policymakers are discussing how to manage the impact of an interest rate hike they expect to implement in the middle of next year.

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