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Wall Street to eye flash PMI data for March

U.S. stock index futures ticked higher on Monday, ahead of the publication of flash manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) data.

Markit's PMI for March is expected to show that U.S. manufacturing continues to elude the impact of the exceptionally bad weather. February's PMI rebounded from a weather-beaten 53.7 in January to 57.1, the highest since March 2010.

"Further robust readings are needed to reassure the Federal Reserve that the recent weakness in official data is primarily weather related," said Markit Chief Economist Chris Williamson in a research note.


The U.S. PMI reading will follow earlier ones in the day for China and the euro zone.

Stocks in Asia were lifted after HSBC's PMI for China came in at 48.1, piquing hopes that Beijing will unveil fresh monetary stimulus to combat slowing growth.

In Europe, PMI data showed Germany's private sector continued to grow in March, albeit at a slower rate, while France enjoyed its fastest growth in more than two-and-a-half years.

(Read more: France on the mend as German firms take a breather)

U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with other G-7 leaders on Monday in the Netherlands for a nuclear security summit. Russia's annexing of Ukraine's Crimea region is expected to dominate discussions and Obama is seen pushing for further measures to force Russia to avoid future military action.

Back in the U.S., the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will also publish its latest national activity index.

The session will be a quiet one for earnings, with just Sonic Corporation reporting after the close of trade. Shares of Coca-Cola will be in focus however, after activist investor David Winters sent a public letter to the company, criticizing its compensation plans.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato

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