China trade surprise gives stocks a lift
Global stocks rose on Wednesday after surprisingly upbeat Chinese trade data offered hope Asia’s biggest economy is finally stabilising, fuelling risk appetite.
China reported exports jumped 11.5 percent year on year in March — the first increase since June, well above market forecasts, and a huge improvement on February.
Europe’s main indices rose as much as 2 percent in early trade, Asian stocks extended their winning streak to the longest in six months, and U.S. futures pointed to a positive open on Wall Street.
“Equities rallied across the board” on the data, said RBC Capital Markets strategists in a note to clients on Wednesday.
“Given the latest rebound in equity markets and the dollar, markets are likely to trade with a more risk-on mode over the next couple of days.”
Europe’s FTSEuroFirst index of leading 300 shares was up 1.4 percent at a two-week high of 1,334 points .FTEU3, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 were both up 1.8 percent.GDAXI .FCHI, and Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE up 1.1 percent.
Earlier in Asia Chinese stocks .SSEC added 1.4 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 2.8 percent for its biggest daily gain in six weeks.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS added 1.5 percent, chalking up its sixth straight gain and coming within a whisker of breaching its high point for the year so far.
Oil prices ran into profit-taking.
Brent crude LCOc1 was down 1.8 percent at $43.91 a barrel, after rising 4 percent on Tuesday and breaching the 200-day moving average around $43.50 — the first time it has scaled this key technical level in almost two years.
U.S. crude CLc1 lost 2 percent to $41.34, easing back from a four-month high, but also held above the 200-day moving average around $40.95 as attention turns to this weekend’s meeting of top oil producers in Doha.
Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi ruled out an output cut, in comments to Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper published on Wednesday.
A rally in energy stocks helped Wall Street end Tuesday firmer across the board .DJI .SPX.IXIC. The S&P 500 energy sector .SPNY jumped 2.8 percent and the Dow industrials posted its best day in about a month.
The focus for equity markets on Wednesday will likely be JP Morgan’s first quarter results (JPM.N), the first of the world’s big investment banks to report.
The first three months of the year were highly volatile across financial markets, and are expected to have torpedoed banks’ trading revenues and profits.
The lift in energy overnight boosted oil- and commodity-sensitive currencies including the Canadian and Australian dollars to multi-month peaks, but that rally fizzled out as oil headed lower again.
Both currencies were down around a third of a percent against the U.S. dollar CAD=AUD=, which was in turn up a third of a percent at 108.90 yen JPY=, having climbed from a near 18-month trough around 107.63 set on Monday.
The euro rose to 123.80 yen EURJPY=R, moving further from a three-year low of 122.08 set last month.
“The big rally for the yen finally took a pause for breath with the currency closing weaker (on Tuesday), the first time it has weakened this month,” Deutsche Bank’s Jim Reid said.
Against the dollar, the euro eased to $1.1352 EUR=. That helped the dollar index .DXY climb back above 94.285, from a near eight-month low of 93.627.
Copper and iron ore sat on large gains while gold XAU= slipped 0.5 percent to $1,249 an ounce, having climbed to a three-week high of $1,262.60 on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Jamie McGeever; editing by John Stonestreet)