- U.S. manufacturing activity expanded at the fastest pace since May 2010 in February, easing concerns over the strength of the economy, preliminary data showed on Thursday.

In a report, market research group Markit said that its preliminary U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index increased to a seasonally adjusted 56.7 this month from a final reading of 53.7 in January. Analysts had expected the index to dip to 53.0 this month.

On the index, a reading above 50.0 indicates industry expansion, below indicates contraction.

Commenting on the report, Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit said that “The flash manufacturing PMI provides the first indications that production has rebounded from the weather-related slowdown seen in January.”

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.16% to trade at 1.3712.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a gain of 0.1% at the open, S&P 500 futures added 0.15%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a rise of 0.1%.

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