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Global stock markets spring higher

Global stock markets spring higher

New York: Global stock markets rose Friday as investors reacted to a mixed batch of global economic data and appeared confident that US-China trade talks would yield a positive outcome.

Asian markets pushed higher, a trend later repeated in Europe and New York.

All three major US indices finished solidly higher, although the Dow finished with a slight loss for the week, ending a nine-week winning streak.

“The first day of the new month has started positively for equities,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at Forex.com.

“Sentiment improved on the back of positive US-China trade talks and as major central banks have reiterated the need for interest rates to remain low for longer,” he said.

– Asia set the tone –

A better-than-expected reading on US economic growth lifted sentiment earlier in Asia while optimistic comments from a top White House economic advisor on the China-US trade talks also provided support.

The gains helped Asia to another strong week despite disappointment over US-North Korea talks in Hanoi and tensions in Kashmir.

Shanghai’s main stocks index led the gains, surging 1.8 percent and extending a rally that has seen it climb by about a fifth since the start of the year thanks to expectations over the US-China trade talks.

Adding to the interest in mainland equities was news that index compiler MSCI will increase the weighting of Chinese-listed stocks in its benchmark indices and nearly double the number of companies included.

With those indices used by global funds for their investments, the move is expected to attract tens of billions of dollars more to the country’s markets.

In Europe, eurozone annual inflation rose to 1.5 percent in February, up from 1.4 percent in January, while unemployment in the single currency area remained stable at 7.8 percent.

On currency markets, the dollar traded mixed, while the pound eased amid jitters about Britain leaving the European Union this month, but investors still hoped that there will be some kind of Brexit deal in place by then.

US economic data was mixed, with consumer spending falling in December and manufacturing growth slowing in February.

Among individual companies, Tesla Motors sank 7.8 percent as it unveiled a version of the Model 3 sedan at $35,000, a price that the company has long promised.

Chief Executive Elon Musk said he did not expect the company to turn a profit in the first quarter, an acknowledgement that revived worries over Tesla’s profitability.

– Key figures around 2140 GMT –

New York – Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 26,026.32 (close)

New York – S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 2,803.69 (close)

New York – Nasdaq: UP 0.8 percent at 7,5945.35 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,106.73 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 0.8 percent at 11,601.68 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 5,265.19 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.4 percent at 3,312.10 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 1.0 percent at 21,602.69 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 0.6 percent at 28,812.17 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 1.8 percent at 2,994.01 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1366 from $1.1371 at 2200 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3208 from $1.3263

Dollar/yen: UP at 111.92 yen from 111.39 yen

Oil – Brent Crude: DOWN $1.24 at $65.07 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN $1.42 at $55.80 per barrel

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