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World Stocks Extend Gains

Frankfurt Stock ExchangeFrankfurt Stock Exchange

World stock markets mostly kept rising on Friday after US President Donald Trump promised he would soon cut taxes for businesses. 

Germany’s DAX added 0.3% to 11,678 and France’s CAC 40 was flat at 4,825. Britain’s FTSE 100 climbed 0.3% to 7,252. Greece’s stock market was up 2.5% as its creditors met to find a way to ease concerns about the future of its bailout program. US benchmarks were poised to rise, with both Dow and S&P 500 futures gaining 0.1%, AP reported.

In a meeting with airline and airport executives, Trump vowed to roll back government regulations and said he would announce a plan in the next three weeks to reduce taxes for businesses. The comments were short on details, but encouraged investors who have been waiting to see how Trump follows through on campaign promises to boost economic growth.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index surged 2.5% to close at 19,378.93 as the yen weakened against the dollar, lifting shares of exporters. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5% to 2,075.08 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.2% to 23,574.98. The Shanghai Composite in mainland China gained 0.4% to 3,196.70 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1% to 5,720.60.

Strong January trade data from China brightened investor sentiment. Exports rebounded, expanding nearly 8% while imports jumped 16.7%. The figures are a good sign for the world’s No. 2 economy, but could also be distorted as factories closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls at different times in the first two months of the year.

The greenback headed for its first weekly gain of the year while Treasuries and gold retreated. Treasuries fell, with 10-year yields rising two basis points to 2.42% in New York. The benchmark yield increased six basis points on Thursday, halting the longest rally in eight months. 

German 10-year bond yields increased two basis points to 0.33% while French yields increased five basis points 1.024%. The yield on Greece’s two-year notes retreated 121 basis points to 8.6%. 

The dollar was trading at 113.46 yen, up from the 112.20 level it was trading at 24 hours earlier. The euro weakened to $1.062 from $1.065.

Benchmark US crude rose 84 cents to $53.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 66 cents on Thursday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, gained $1.02 to $56.65 a barrel in London.

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