Chinese data gives stock markets early year shot in the arm

AP News
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Posted: Jan 03, 2017 8:27 AM
Chinese data gives stock markets early year shot in the arm

LONDON (AP) — Global stocks advanced Tuesday, with U.S. markets set to ring in 2017 with gains, after upbeat Chinese and British manufacturing data bolstered investor sentiment. The dollar and oil prices started the new year as they closed out the last — pushing higher.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.7 percent to 7,194.02 and France's CAC 40 added 0.5 percent to 4,906.87. Germany's DAX inched up 0.1 percent to 11,604.91. Futures showed that U.S. stock markets would rise on the open, with Dow futures and the broader S&P futures up 0.6 percent. Wall Street was closed for the New Year's holiday on Monday.

CHINA DATA: The strong start to the new year was helped by a couple economic reports showing that the world's number 2 economy is in good health. The Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers' index rose in December to its highest level in three years. The index stood at 51.9, higher than market forecasts of 50.7 and an improvement from the previous month's reading of 50.9. Over the weekend, a report showed that China's manufacturing sector continued to expand in December, though at a slightly slower pace than the month before.

ANALYST TAKE: "The data out of China has given us an early shot in the arm," said James Hughes, chief market analyst at GKFX. "For the first full trading session of 2017 we are looking particularly positive."

UK BUOYANT TOO: Britain's main stock index struck a record high Tuesday as a survey showed manufacturers gaining business from the slide in the value of the pound since the country's decision in June to leave the European Union. The survey of manufacturers from financial information company IHS Markit and the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply showed the sector enjoying a strong rise in new business in December. The so-called purchasing managers' index — a broad gauge of business activity — rose to a two-and-a-half year high of 56.1 points from the previous month's 53.6.

BUSY US WEEK: Traders in the U.S. won't have long to adjust to the new year given a raft of economic data due this week, which culminates with Friday's nonfarm payrolls report for December. The data, which kicks off later Tuesday with the monthly manufacturing report from the Institute for Supply Management, could go a long way to determining how soon the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates again. The inauguration of Donald Trump as the next U.S. president later this month, and his economic policy path, will also play a key role in expectations over the Fed's upcoming actions.

ASIA'S DAY: Asian markets finished higher. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.7 percent to 22,150.40 and South Korea's Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 2,043.97. China's Shanghai Composite Index advanced 1 percent to 3,135.92. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1.2 percent to 5,733.20. Tokyo stock markets remained closed for the New Year's holiday.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude was up $1.31 at $55.03 per barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was up $1.34 at $58.16.

CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.7 percent at $1.0382 while the dollar rose 0.5 percent to 118.17 yen.