Stock markets clung on to gains and government bond yields hit 5-month highs on Thursday as investors hoped data on business confidence, orders and jobs would add to a picture of a healthier economy and increase appetite for riskier assets. Stock index futures pointed to a firmer open on Wall Street but the gains will depend heavily on a batch of fresh data, including two key surveys of factory activity, producer price rises for February and the weekly jobless claims numbers. Improving economic data, most notably for retail sales and employment, and a signal from the Federal Reserve that it was not planning further monetary easing for now - coming after a bailout deal for Greece - all caused a big change in investor sentiment this week. Safe haven government bond prices have fallen, the dollar has gained against a basket of currencies and prices of commodities traded in dollars have eased. \"Investor sentiment has completely changed. In the past, people were expecting (U.S.) growth of around 1.5 percent but now they say growth could top three percent,\" said Hiroshi Yokotani, director of fixed income at Alliance Bernstein. The dollar touched a fresh 11-month high of 84.187 yen before edging back to around 83.30 yen, down 0.4 percent on the day. The euro was just above a 1-month low near $1.30 against the dollar at $1.3060. \"When we get good data, the QE3 (U.S. monetary easing) risk decreases and the main risk for the dollar decreases,\" said Ulrich Leuchtmann, head of FX research at Commerzbank. \"Even when data comes in around expectations it is a good signal for the dollar, when normally it would be neutral.\" The euro zone debt market also passed a key test on Thursday when Spain successfully sold 3.01 billion euros ($3.9 billion) of new bonds thanks in part to the large amounts of central bank cash in the banking system which has offset some of the concerns about the government\'s fiscal policies. World equities markets shared in the more positive investor mood up until Wednesday but have only inched higher since as investors seek more reassurance on the growth outlook given evidence of weakness in China. The broad FTSE Eurofirst .FTEU3 index of top European shares was little changed just under 1,100 points after closing on Wednesday at a near eight-month high. German and Spanish shares .GDAXI .IBEX were up around 0.25 percent while Italian stocks were unchanged. .FTMIB. The MSCI world equity index .MIWD00000PUS was 0.2 percent higher at 333.55 with worries about the Chinese growth outlook hitting many Asian markets outside Japan. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said on Wednesday the world\'s second largest economy must embrace slower growth and bolder political reform to keep its economy from faltering. He also dampened hopes for any near-term easing measures in the country\'s property sector, sending Chinese shares lower. China\'s foreign direct investment (FDI) in February also posted a fourth straight monthly fall following recent data showing the trade balance to be $31.5 billion in the red in February -- its largest deficit in at least a decade.