(Reuters) – A look at the day ahead in U.S. and global markets by Amanda Cooper.

If there was one area of the U.S. economy that had yet to yield positive news, it was the manufacturing sector and Monday’s March survey from the Institute for Supply Management finally brought some.

Activity in the manufacturing sector, which has been battered by high interest rates and inflation, grew for the first time in 1-1/2 years last month as production rebounded sharply and new orders increased.

Layoffs are still high and input prices – due to steep rises in the cost of gasoline and food – are forging higher.

The data triggered the biggest sell-off in Treasuries for several weeks, pushing yields up by the most since mid-February.

Futures markets show traders are now placing a roughly 65% chance of a cut in June, but that is up from around 50/50 overnight. More tellingly, the market is pricing in less than 70 basis points, or three quarter-points, in cuts by December, down from the comfortable three that were priced in last week.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said so himself after the release of the monthly core personal consumption expenditures index on Friday. The economy is on a strong footing and “that means we don’t need to be in a hurry to cut”, he said.

Against that backdrop, the dollar is looking firm and trading around its highest since mid-November against a basket of major currencies.

Stock index futures are pointing to a steady-as-she-goes start on Wall Street later, while in Europe, the major indices are on a firmly positive footing.

To an extent, the market is in waiting mode this week ahead of Friday’s non-farm payrolls report which is expected to show the economy added 200,000 jobs in March. More crucial for the Fed and its policymakers will be wage growth. Average earnings are expected to have risen by 4.1% in March, a touch slower than February’s 4.3% rate.

Later on, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) might help give a steer on how tight the labor market is. The job openings component, a measure of demand for labor, fell to 8.863 million in February, but this level was seen at the time to be consistent with an employment market that is gently easing, as opposed to sharply contracting.

A lot of the tightness that resulted from the shifts in the job market from COVID has evaporated since job openings peaked at a record 12.182 million in March 2022.

Key developments that should provide more direction to U.S. markets later on Tuesday:

* February durable goods orders

* March JOLTS

(Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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