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Markets unmoved by upbeat US jobs news

Associated Press Published: November 2, 2012
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The fall in the October purchasing managers index — a gauge of business activity — fell to 45.4 in October from 46.1 in September. Anything below 50 indicates a contraction in activity. Particularly worrying was that most of the euro countries are seeing their manufacturing sectors contract, including Germany and France.

The euro is also being weighed down by worries over Greece, with signs that the coalition government is fracturing ahead of a parliamentary vote next week on a €13.5 billion package of spending cuts and tax increases that are required by international creditors in return for giving the country more bailout cash.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said the country will start running out of money by the middle of the month, so the clock is ticking.

"It all looks very fragile," said Neil MacKinnon, global macro strategist at VTB Capital.

Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 index advanced 1.2 percent to close at 9,051.22. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.3 percent to 22,111.33 and South Korea's Kospi gained 1.1 percent to 1,918.72.

Oil prices gave up most of the previous session's gains — benchmark oil for December delivery fell 50 cents to $86.59 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.