NEW YORK: Global stocks mostly rose Tuesday following strong Chinese economic data and a round of solid US corporate earnings reports from Netflix and others.
China’s economy expanded at 6.8 percent in the first quarter, better than the consensus of an AFP survey of economists and above the Chinese government’s targeted rate of annual growth.
The figures offered reassurance to investors worried that ongoing trade tensions between China and the United States might mar business sentiment.
The International Monetary Fund, in the latest update to its World Economic Outlook, predicted world growth at a solid 3.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, unchanged from January. However, the Fund cautioned that “momentum is not assured” given persistent trade war fears.
The US produced some good news of its own, with Netflix, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth Group all reporting better-than-expected profits.
Sentiment was also boosted by US data showing construction of apartment buildings surged in March, overwhelming a big drop in work started on single-family homes.
“It’s back to the fundamentals for now, even though it could change in a moment with a tweet,” said Karl Haeling of LBBW.
Among major US stock indices, the Nasdaq was the most upward-bound, surging 1.7 percent.
Paris and Frankfurt also posted solid gains, while London and Tokyo’s were more modest.
The British pound zoomed to its highest dollar level since the 2016 Brexit referendum on strengthening UK interest rate hike hopes and solid data.
“With geopolitical concerns appearing to ease in recent days, risk appetite is gradually returning to financial markets,” said Craig Erlam at OANDA.
He said investor sentiment remained fragile, but in the absence of escalation in Syria after weekend US, British and French air strikes, markets seemed poised to continue clawing back recent losses.
“The concerns about geopolitical tensions in relation to Syria and Russian sanctions have faded a little,” agreed CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
Streaming company Netflix surged more than nine percent after announcing it had added 7.4 million new subscribers in the past quarter as net income grew 63 percent to $290 million.
Other large technology companies also enjoyed big advances, including Amazon, which won 4.3 percent and Google parent Alphabet, which added 3.5 percent.
– Key figures around 2100 GMT –
New York – Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 24,786.63 (close)
New York – S&P 500: UP 1.1 percent at 2,706.39 (close)
New York – Nasdaq: UP 1.7 percent at 7,281.10 (close)
London – FTSE 100: UP 0.4 percent at 7,226.05 (close)
Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.6 percent at 12,585.57 (close)
Paris – CAC 40: UP 0.8 percent at 5,353.54 (close)
EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.2 percent at 3,481.89 (close)
Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.1 percent at 21,847.59 (close)
Hong Kong – Hang Seng: DOWN 0.8 percent at 30,062.75 (close)
Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 1.4 percent at 3,066.80 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2375 from $1.2380 at 2100 GMT
Dollar/yen: DOWN at 107.03 yen from 107.12
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.4291 from $1.4339
Oil – Brent North Sea: UP 16 cents at $71.58 per barrel
Oil – West Texas Intermediate: UP 30 cents at $66.52 per barrel