Global stocks higher after stronger China trade, Nasdaq gain
BEIJING — Global share prices were mostly higher Thursday after China reported unexpectedly strong trade and Wall Street’s Nasdaq index hit a record-high close.
KEEPING SCORE: In early trading, France’s CAC-40 was flat at 4,457.75 points and London’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.5 percent to 6,884.70. Germany’s DAX slipped 0.1 percent to 10,744.41. On Wednesday, the CAC 40 and DAX each rose 0.6 percent while the FTSE 100 gained 0.3 percent. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.1 percent and that for the Standard & Poor’s 500 advanced 0.2 percent.
CHINA TRADE: Imports rose in August for the first time since late 2014, while a contraction in exports narrowed in a positive sign for global economic growth. Imports expanded by an unexpectedly strong 1.5 percent, up from July’s 12.5 percent plunge. Exports fell 2.8 percent but that also was better than forecast and an improvement over the previous month’s 4.4 percent contraction. The improvement was a positive sign for Chinese leaders who are trying to protect millions of trade-supported jobs. The import gain suggested lackluster Chinese domestic demand might be firming up.
ECB WATCH: Investors were looking ahead to the European Central Bank’s policy meeting for signs of when it might raise euro zone interest rates. Forecasters expected no change following the ECB’s comment in its July review that it needed to closely watch the impact of Britain’s vote to leave the 28-nation trading bloc. Inflation is well below the bank’s target, with consumer prices barely changed this year.
ANALYST’S TAKE: “Global equities have been climbing to a 12-month high recently, and are showing signs of fatigue,” said Bernard Aw of IG in a report. “Corporate earnings challenges aside, market participants will need a fresh catalyst for stocks to resume its bullish trajectory,” he said. “This could come in the form of more stimulus from the ECB or BOJ, or a stronger consensus on the delay in US rate hike for the rest of the year. However, the ECB is unlikely to come bearing stimulus gifts tonight when the council sets the policy decision, beyond getting another 6-month extension to the QE program.”
ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.3 percent to 16,958.77 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 fell 0.7 percent to 5,385.80. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong gained 0.8 percent to 23,919.34 points and the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1 percent to 3,095.95. Seoul’s Kospi added 0.1 percent to 2,063.73, while India’s Sensex rose 0.3 percent to 29,006.18. Taiwan and New Zealand rose while other benchmarks in Southeast Asia declined.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude rose 92 cents to $46.42 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained 67 cents on Wednesday to close at $45.50. Brent crude, used to price international oils, rose 82 cents to $48.80 in London. It added 72 cents on Wednesday to close at $47.98.
CURRENCIES: The dollar edged down to 101.55 yen from Wednesday’s 101.71 yen. The euro rose to $1.1271 from $1.1241. TVJ
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