World Stocks Rebound on Easing Greek Debt Crisis, Pickup in Japanese Output

By webadmin on 08:53 pm May 31, 2011
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Hong Kong. World stocks marched higher on Tuesday after Japan’s factory output grew again following a record drop and investors got a shot of confidence from efforts to ease Greek debt.

Oil prices rose to near $102 a barrel. The dollar strengthened against the yen, but weakened against the euro.

In early European trading, Germany’s DAX jumped 2 percent and France’s CAC 40 added 1.6 percent. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 1.4 percent.

US stocks were poised to rise. Dow futures were up 0.9 percent to 12,541 while S&P 500 futures were up 0.9 percent to 1,342.20.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 average rose 2 percent to close at 9,693.73.

Industrial output rose a modest 1 percent in April after a record 15.5 percent drop in March, when the country’s economy was slammed by supply disruptions in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami.

But the government also said factory output — a key barometer of Japan’s economic health — would pick up speed in the coming months.

South Korea’s Kospi jumped 2.3 percent to end at 2,142.27, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.9 percent to finish at 4,708.30. Hong Kong’s Hang Sang added 2.2 percent to close at 23,684.13. Benchmarks in Taiwan, Singapore, India and Thailand also gained.

“Across Asia, regional markets are mostly higher, albeit on light volumes, after positive economic data out of Japan,” said Ben Potter, an analyst at IG Markets, in a note to investors.

The rebound followed a day of muted trading on Monday amid reports that European officials were preparing new support measures for Greece.

“The euro debt crisis seems to be already eased and investors are putting their focus back to solid growth in China,” said Castor Pang, research director at Core Pacific-Yamaichi in Hong Kong. “At least for the short term, the rebound will continue.”

Mainland Chinese shares snapped an eight-session losing streak as the yuan closed at a record-high level of 6.4845 to the US dollar, drawing investors hoping to gain from the Chinese currency’s gradual appreciation.

The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.4 percent to 2,743.47 and the Shenzhen Composite Index of China’s smaller, second exchange climbed 2 percent to 1,111.90.

Shares in paper processing, machinery and petrochemical companies led the gains.

The announcement of an increase in electricity rates for industrial users in some Chinese provinces drove a rally in power company shares.

Huaneng Power International, one of several big state-owned electricity generators, gained 2 percent, while Henan Yuneng Holdings hit the daily limit of 10 percent.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was up $1.33 to $101.92 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The benchmark contract last settled up 36 cents at $100.59 on Friday. Markets in the US were closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.

The euro strengthened to $1.4412 from $1.4344 in late trading on Monday. The dollar rose to 81.61 yen from 80.86 yen.

Associated Press