Japan's manufacturing PMI highest since 2014

The Markit  Nikkei Japan Manufacturing Final Purchasing Managers Index came to a seasonally adjusted 54 in December

The eurozone economy continued to gather momentum in December as growth in service sector activity rose at its quickest pace in almost seven years.

This PMI measures changes in perceived activity levels across the global manufacturing sector from one month to the next. An official PMI weakened slightly, though remained above the key 50 level that signifies expansion.

Together these countries account for 89 percent of eurozone manufacturing activity.

There were signs of weakness elsewhere in Asia, with factory indexes in Indonesia, Malaysia and South Korea dipping below 50 during December.

Inflation decelerated at the slowest pace in nearly three years due to lower interest rates and employment costs, a competitive framework in which 'service providers may have to resort to heavy discounts to stimulate demand, ' said the Markit economist, Pollyanna De Lima. Output growth accelerated to its fastest since the start of the year on the back of a marked upswing in demand as the year came to a close.

It was a similar story by geographic region with improvement seen in both developed and developing markets.

The pound was worth 1.3535 against the greenback, 152.41 against the yen, 1.3224 against the franc and 0.8887 against the euro at 4:25 am ET.

"Rates of expansion improved in the United States and Japan, but eased in the UK".

Latest data showed core sector, spanning coal, steel, crude oil, refinery products, steel, cement, fertiliser and electricity, rose at a 13-month high of 6.8% in November while vehicle sales grew 9.2% in 2017 compared to the previous year. Buoyed by increase in output and new orders, Nikkei Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index showed a steady growth.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) confirmed last month that gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.4 per cent in its final reading for July to September this year, rising from 0.3 per cent in the first and second quarters.

David Hensley, director of Global Economic Coordination at JP Morgan, says that the details of the December report bode well for the sector in the months ahead. In fact, the latest upturn in input buying was the steepest for two years, which survey respondents widely linked to increased business requirements.

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