World Economy

Global Markets Gain on Upbeat US, China Data

Global Markets Gain on Upbeat US, China DataGlobal Markets Gain on Upbeat US, China Data

Global stock markets kicked off the week mostly higher on Monday as investor sentiment was boosted by the US monthly job report showing a sustained recovery in the labor market and a rebound in Chinese manufacturing activity.

Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.4% to 6,171.34 and Germany’s DAX gained 0.5% to 9,840.99. France’s CAC 40 added 0.5% to 4,343.16. US futures showed a tepid start for Wall Street with Dow futures up 0.2%. S&P futures also rose 0.2%, AP reported.

The US government said Friday that job growth continued at a strong clip in March, slightly stronger than investors expected and showing employers were confident enough to add staff despite the slowing economy. Employers added 215,000 jobs last month, a solid figure but not enough to keep up with the new job-seekers. More people also looked for work and wages edged higher.

“This month’s job data, together with strong job growth over the last few months, will help to maintain investor’s confidence in the US economy and reduce worries of a recession,” said Margaret Yang, a market analyst at CMC Markets Singapore. But the latest US job report will have a limited impact on the market’s expectations for another rate hike this year, Yang said. “Much stronger job growth numbers and rising inflation is probably needed to put pressure on the Fed to raise rates faster.”

  In Asia

China’s manufacturing activity rebounded in March to its highest level since late August, official data showed on Friday. The purchasing managers’ index came in at 50.2 in March, up from February’s 49, Xinhua News Agency reported citing official data. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 stock index fell 0.3% to 16,123.27. Seoul’s Kospi edged up 0.3% at 1,978.97 while Singapore’s Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.1% to 4,995.30. Stocks in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines were also higher. Stock markets in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan were closed for a holiday.

Oil prices faced selling pressure after reports that Saudi Arabia would freeze its production only if Iran and other producers agreed to do the same. Benchmark US crude fell 12 cents to $36.66 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.55 on Friday to close at $36.79. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added nine cents to $38.75 in London.

The euro weakened to $1.136 from $1.139 while the dollar fell to 111.61 yen from 111.66 yen.