Global Stocks Rally as China's Economy Stabilizes

Date : 01/17/2020 @ 2:20PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : Compagnie Financiere Richemont (PK) (CFRUY)
Quote : 6.8  0.24 (3.66%) @ 9:32PM

Global Stocks Rally as China's Economy Stabilizes

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By Will Horner 

Global stocks advanced Friday as signs of the Chinese economy stabilizing and robust earnings from some of the biggest U.S. banks fueled investors' optimism.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%, a day after notching yet another all-time high. The pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 gauge rose 1%, putting it on course to close at a fresh record.

Fresh data showed that China's industrial production rebounded last year, with the 6.9% growth in output in December beating forecasts and marking the fastest pace of expansion in nine months. Meanwhile, economic growth slowed to 6.1% last year, largely in line with market expectations. The Chinese yuan strengthened 0.3% against the dollar after the data, hitting its highest levels since July.

While it is too early to tell if the Chinese economic slowdown has bottomed out, the data added to investors' recent optimism about the prospects for the global economy following the partial resolution to the U.S.-China trade dispute, said Geoffrey Yu, head of the U.K. office for UBS Group's wealth management arm.

"It's a case of looking at it as a glass-half-full, rather than a glass-half-empty," Mr. Yu said. "There is a general sense that it could have been a lot worse."

Ahead of the New York open, shares in Gap jumped nearly 4% after the retailer said it no longer plans to separate Old Navy into a stand-alone public company. Gap also said it expects to report fiscal 2019 earnings moderately above prior guidance.

Schlumberger rallied 2.7% in premarket trading after the oil services company reported fourth-quarter profit and revenue that exceeded expectations. State Street gained 3.3% as the trust bank's profit also beat Wall Street's expectations.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index ended the day largely flat. The fresh economic data has prompted speculation that China's central bank may hold off on additional stimulus measures, said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, a senior analyst at Swissquote Bank.

Among European equities, Cie. Financière Richemont rose 5% after the Swiss luxury-goods maker's fiscal third-quarter sales beat analysts' expectations.

The British pound slipped 0.2% against the dollar after U.K. retail sales unexpectedly fell in December, further raising expectations that the Bank of England will cut interest rates when policy makers meet at the end of the month, said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank.

"It's another piece of the jigsaw," Mr. Dixon said of the retail sales data. "We already had a big miss on November GDP figures and it now looks like a stretch to assume the U.K. will register positive growth in the fourth quarter."

Later in the day, a number of Federal Reserve policy makers are also scheduled to give speeches.

Write to Will Horner at William.Horner@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2020 09:05 ET (14:05 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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