Global markets extend rally on China trade data

Chinese exports surged in March, the first gain in nine months, new figures show

London (AFP) – Asian and European stocks churned higher Wednesday on upbeat Chinese trade data, building on the previous day’s solid gains that were driven by soaring oil prices.

“A sparkle returned to European trading on Tuesday with major indices buoyed by strong trade data from China and oil prices trading at fresh 2016 highs,” said CMC Markets analyst Jasper Lawler.

“The apparent turnaround in China’s economy, the rise in oil prices, as well as a more cautious Federal Reserve, have removed the major concerns that led to the beginning of the year sell-off.”

In late morning deals, the resources-heavy London stock market won 1.4 percent, while Frankfurt and Paris both gained about 2.5 percent in value.

Shanghai ended 1.4 percent higher on the data and Hong Kong soared 3.2 percent, while Tokyo spiked 2.8 percent higher.

The share prices of energy and mining firms jumped because China is a leading global consumer of many commodities.

In London, Miner Anglo American won 6.14 percent to 677.90 pence and peer BHP Billiton gained 5.52 percent to 853.20 pence.

Energy major Royal Dutch Shell meanwhile added about one percent and BP gained 2.3 percent, despite a modest pullback in oil prices on Wednesday.

On the downside, British supermarket Tesco shed 5.6 percent after warning that profits would take a hit from its large investment in price-cutting.

“Most sectors of the FTSE 100 were in the green, led by the China and commodity-sensitive mining sector,” added Lawler on Wednesday.

China said exports rocketed by 11.5 percent in March to $160.8 billion (142.3 billion euros) from a year earlier. That followed a 25-percent slump in February and marked a first gain in nine months, underlining optimism over the world’s second biggest economy.

The solid outcome beat market expectations for a 10-percent gain, according to economists polled by Bloomberg.

At the same time, the energy sector continued to soar on reports that Saudi Arabia and Russia have agreed to freeze output ahead of a key producers’ meeting this weekend.

Higher crude prices tend to boost profits and revenues for oil firms.

Asian equities also burst higher on a wave of renewed economic confidence, which also saw the safe-haven yen retreat against the dollar having soared more than five percent since the start of the month.

Markets enjoyed healthy gains on Tuesday after Russian news agency Interfax said Moscow and Riyadh had reached “consensus” on freezing oil output, sending oil prices racing higher.

While most market-watchers say nations must actually cut production to have any lasting impact, the news raised hopes that at least a global glut — which saw prices plunge 75 percent from mid-2014 to February — can be addressed.

Major players from inside and outside the OPEC producers’ club are due to meet in Doha Sunday to discuss the crude crisis, which has hammered some of the world’s biggest energy companies and oil-exporter nations.

– Key figures around 1115 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: UP 1.4 percent at 6,332 points.

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 2.3 percent at 9,984.10 

Paris – CAC 40: UP 2.5 percent at 4,456.0

EURO STOXX 50: UP 2.6 percent at 3,018.7

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 2.8 percent at 16,381.22 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.4 percent at 3,066.64 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 3.2 percent at 21,158.71 (close)

New York – Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 17,721.25 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1316 from $1.1386 on Tuesday

Dollar/yen: UP at 109.28 yen from 108.57 yen


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