Factory growth fades as new orders dry up

Fri Jul 1, 2011 6:08am EDT

* Manufacturing PMIs fall to multi-month lows

* New orders drying up

* Price pressures easing

* For a graphic see: r.reuters.com/puv42s

By Jonathan Cable and Koh Gui Qing

LONDON/BEIJING, July 1 (Reuters) - The global manufacturing sector, a key driver of economic growth, lost steam for a second month running as monetary policy tightening began to bite, surveys showed on Friday.

Purchasing managers' indexes in Asia and Europe slid to multi-month lows in June as factories fought a twin battle with weaker consumer demand overseas and tightening monetary policy at home.

Central banks have been unwinding ultra-loose monetary policy and hiking interest rates aggressively in Asia as they turn their attention to inflation, hampering growth in the process.

The European Central Bank is expected to raise rates next week, having done so in April, and the U.S. Federal Reserve ended its $600 billion bond-buying stimulus programme this week and has yet to offer any hints of more monetary easing to come.

US Stock Futures Slightly Higher As Euro, China Manufacturing Slow

U.S. stock market futures were slightly higher Friday, with investors eyeing data that showed a slowdown in manufacturing for both Europe and China and looked ahead to a key U.S. manufacturing gauge to be released later.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 27 points to 12372, while those for the Standard & Poor's 500 was up 1 point at 1316.50. Those for the Nasdaq 100 index rose 4 points to 2325.
The Dow tallied a fourth-consecutive day of gains on Thursday, adding 1.3%, inspired by better-than-expected economic data and after Greece's austerity measures passed a key parliamentary hurdle.
Thursday's Chicago PMI data inspired some optimism ahead of an important indicator--the Institute for Supply Management's June manufacturing index, due at 10 a.m., EDT. A survey of analysts polled by MarketWatch are expecting the index to slip to 52% from a prior 53.5%.