NEW YORK -- U.S. stock index futures rose Wednesday after reports showing the pace of China's economic expansion accelerated in November sent overseas shares higher.
Fears that the European financial crisis would spread eased following a better than expected bond auction by Portugal, which helped send the euro higher. Investors have feared that the country will be the next member of the European Union to require financial assistance from its neighbors.
The bond auction sent interest rates on Portugal's bonds to 5.28 percent from 4.81 percent. While this signals that investors view the country's debt as a greater risk, there was a strong demand for the bonds and interest rates did not go as high as some investors feared.
The euro rose 0.9 percent after the auction. The Euro Stoxx 50 index, which tracks blue chip companies in countries that use the euro, rose 1.2 percent.
In China, a state index of manufacturing activity rose to 55.2 in November from 54.7 in October. Any number above 50 indicates economic expansion. Monthly readings have stayed above that number for 21 straight months. A competing Chinese survey by HSBC rose to an eight-month high.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 1.1 percent. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.2 percent. Stocks have fallen in Asia since early November after China raised a key interest rate to combat inflation.
Several economic reports will be released Wednesday that will give a better indication of where the U.S. economy is headed. November figures for auto sales, manufacturing activity and private sector employment will come out by the end of the day. The Federal Reserve will also put out its report on regional economic activity.
Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 113, or 1 percent, to 11,110. S&P 500 futures rose 12.9, or 1.1 percent, to 1,192.50. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 19, or 0.9 percent, to 2,136.