Global Stock Market Rally Continues Despite China Retreat
LONDON (AP) — The recovery in global stock markets continued Wednesday despite another big retreat in China's main stock market.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, Germany's DAX advanced 1 percent to 10,085 while France's CAC 40 rose 1.4 percent to 4,441. The FTSE 100 of leading British shares was 1.1 percent higher at 5,994. U.S. stocks were poised for a solid open, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.5 percent.
RESILIENCE: Stock markets in the U.S. and Europe appear to be showing some resilience in the face of the volatility in China. Worries over the future of the world's number 2 economy have lain behind the big falls registered in stock markets around the world at the start of 2016. However, market watchers remain wary.
ANALYST TAKE: "There are signs that markets are finding their feet again," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. "Of course, this could just be the calm before the storm which is why we may see investors proceed with caution in the next couple of days."
CHINA: Some optimism over China emerged with the news that the country's exports rose 2.3 percent in December from a year earlier in yuan terms, reversing a 3.7 percent drop in November. Exports fell in dollar terms but the decrease was smaller than November's. The data suggest a weakening in the yuan may be helping boost demand for Chinese products, providing welcome support for the slowing economy. Despite the data, the Shanghai Composite closed down 2.4 percent at 2,949.60
ASIA'S DAY: In Asia, stocks rallied despite the fall in Shanghai. Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index jumped 2.9 percent to 17,715.63 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng was up 1.1 percent to 19,934.88. South Korea's Kospi added 1.3 percent to 1,916.28.. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 gained 1.3 percent to 4,987.40. Shares in New Zealand and Southeast Asia were mostly higher.
OIL PRICES: Crude oil prices tumbled overnight but bounced higher Wednesday in Asia. While the supply and demand factors that have driven prices nearly 18 percent lower this year are a concern, and are hurting exporters and energy company shares, lower oil and gas costs are a boon for many resource-scarce Asian economies. A barrel of benchmark New York crude was up 2.3 percent at $31.13 while the international Brent standard in London rose 2.2 percent to $31.55.
CURRENCIES: Trading in the foreign exchange markets was subdued with the euro down 0.2 percent at $1.0813 and the dollar 0.2 percent higher at 118.11 yen.