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Global Stocks Turn Higher on Strong Economic Indicators

Frankfurt Stock ExchangeFrankfurt Stock Exchange

Global stock markets mostly turned higher on Tuesday after surveys pointed to robust economic growth in Europe and Japan, regions that have stagnated in recent years.

Germany’s DAX advanced 0.6% to 11,895 while France’s CAC 40 rose 0.3% to 4,880. London’s FTSE 100 retreated 0.2% to 7,288. On Wall Street, the future for the Dow was up 0.3% while that for the S&P 500 advanced 0.2%, suggesting gains after the markets were closed Monday for Presidents’ Day. Both had hit record highs on Friday, AP reported.

A survey indicated that the economy of the 19-country eurozone is growing at its fastest pace in nearly six years. The gauge of the manufacturing and services sectors for February showed both stronger business activity as well as better hiring. In Japan, a measure of manufacturing activity rose to its highest level since 2014. Both surveys showed inflation pressures growing, a welcome development for markets that have suffered dangerously low inflation or even falling prices in recent years.

Asian stocks were mixed on Tuesday in the absence of cues from US stock markets, which were closed overnight for a federal holiday.

While a weaker yen, higher oil prices and some progress on Greek bailout deal lent support, gains were capped by lingering concerns about the looming French election and uncertainties over US fiscal and monetary policies.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7% to 19,381.44 and the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4% to 3,253.33. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng retreated 0.8% to 23,963.63 while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 lost 0.1% to 5,791.00. Seoul’s Kospi gained 0.9% to 2,102.93. Benchmarks in New Zealand, Malaysia and the Philippines also rose. 

India’s Sensex lost 0.1% to 28,645.52 while Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta also declined. The Nikkei average climbed 130.36 points or 0.68% to 19,381.44 while the broader Topix index closed 0.56% higher at 1,555.60. Australian shares closed lower as a slew of earnings results disappointed investors. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 4.10 points or 0.07% to 5,791 while the broader All Ordinaries index finished down 5.10 points or 0.09% at 5,835.40, Nasdaq reported.

Benchmark US crude oil rose 93 cents to $54.33 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract advanced 3 cents on Monday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, added 87 cents to $57.05 in London, having gained 23 cents the day before.

The dollar rose to 113.67 yen from Monday’s 113.37 yen. The euro declined to $1.053 from $1.060.

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