US construction spending increases and manufacturing growth speeds up

More data to bolster the view that economic activity in the US is picking up more quickly than expected: the manufacturing sector grew in November for the sixth month in a row, according to the Institute of Supply Management. Its manufacturing survey index rose to 57.3, up from 56.4 in October - the highest reading since April 2011. Consensus was that the index would fall to 55.0.

Prices paid fell to 52.5 from 55.5, missing expectations of a fall to 55.0. A reading above 50 indicates growth.

A separate report showed US construction spending for September fell 0.3 per cent, but increased 0.8 per cent in October, to $908.4bn. Analysts had expected growth of 0.4 per cent, so that's another positive reading for the US economy.