World Economy

Global Stocks Edge Higher

China shares hit a seven-month high.China shares hit a seven-month high.

Global stocks mostly rose Monday, despite subdued growth figures for Japan, as investors looked ahead to US economic data this week as well as the minutes to the Federal Reserve’s last meeting.

Germany’s DAX was up 0.5% to 10,764 while the CAC 40 of France climbed 0.1% to 4,506. Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 0.2% to 6,932. Much business in Europe was closed for the Assumption holiday, though market trading remained open. Wall Street appeared poised for gains, with Dow and S&P futures both up 0.2%, news outlets reported.

Asian shares set up camp at one-year peaks on Monday as a rally in Chinese stocks helped offset news that Japan’s economic growth had ground to a halt last quarter, while oil prices extended their latest rally.

China stood out in Asia as the blue-chip CSI300 Index jumped 3.3% to a seven-month high amid speculation more stimulus would be forthcoming from Beijing after a raft of weaker-than-expected July data.

Japan’s economy grew at a lower-than-forecast 0.2% pace in the April-June quarter, as private demand and exports remained weak. Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged 0.3% lower to 16,869.56 after the government reported weaker-than-expected economic data. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.7% to 22,932.51 and Australia’s S&P ASX 200 added 0.2% to 5,540.00. The Shanghai Composite index advanced 2.4% to 3,125.20 and markets in Southeast Asia were mixed. Markets in South Korea and India were closed for holidays.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan recouped early losses to edge up 0.2%.

It has climbed 14% since June when Britain’s vote to leave the European Union unleashed a new wave of global policy stimulus, led by aggressive action from the Bank of England.

All this easing has pushed rich-world bond yields dramatically lower and driven investors to seek higher returns in longer-term debt and in emerging markets.

Yields on British 10-year gilts have more than halved to all-time lows of 53 basis points, having been up at 1.39% just before the Brexit vote.

That has pulled down rates right across Europe. German Bunds were at a deeply sub zero -0.16% ahead of US trading and Spanish yields were comfortably under 1% at 0.92% having falling over 60 bps in the last couple of months.

In currency markets, the dollar weakened to 101.09 yen from 101.29 yen on Friday. The euro rose to $1.117 from $1.116.

Brent crude futures gained as much as 35 cents on Monday to $47.67 a barrel before losing traction, while US crude eased back after touching $45.15.