Financial markets eased from early rises after receiving disappointing ISM manufacturing data. The DJIA slipped after rising to 13032.67 while the S&P dropped after climbing higher to 1374.15. In the commodity sector, oil prices remained firm for a second day, with the prompt-month contract of WTI crude oil staying above 107. ISM manufacturing index, while staying in expansionary territories, fell to 52.4 in February from 54.1 a month ago. The market had anticipated an improvement to 54.6.
In European session, Spain successfully raised 4.5B euro in bonds, including 1.5B euro in 5-year bonds, 1.9B euro in 3-year bonds and 1.1B euro in 2-year bonds. Interest rates were modestly lower from previous auctions. Meanwhile, the ISDA said that there's no credit event on Greece restructuring. Regarding this month's EU meeting, the market should probably be focused on the beef up of the EFSF/ESM, the fiscal compact as well as adjustment in Spain's deficit target in 2012.
Earlier in the day, a number of countries released the manufacturing data for February. In China, PMI manufacturing index climbed to 51 in February from 50.5 in the prior month. The market had anticipated a modest rise to 50.8. The final data compiled by HSBC and Markit also improved to 49.6 in February from flash reading of 48.8. Yet, a reading below 50 suggested that the manufacturing sector remained in contractionary territory. In the Eurozone, the final reading of PMI index stayed in 49 in February. For the UK, the index slipped to 51.2 from 52.1 last month. The market had anticipated a milder drop to 52.