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European markets shrug off weak US growth data as stimulus hopes boost China shares

TOKYO – European shares rose Monday, shrugging off unease over the Greek debt situation and renewed signs of weakness in the U.S. economy, after Shanghai’s benchmark jumped nearly 5 per cent on expectations of new stimulus measures.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany’s DAX edged 0.2 per cent higher to 11,434.89 and Britain’s FTSE picked up 0.1 per cent to 6,992.60. France’s CAC 40 added 0.6 per cent to 5,035.62. Wall Street looked poised to recoup Friday’s losses which were triggered by news that the U.S. economy shrank in the first three months of the year. Dow futures were up 0.2 per cent at 18,042.00. S&P 500 futures added 0.1 per cent to 2,108.20.

CHINA SLOWDOWN: Two surveys released Monday showed China’s manufacturing industry, which employs many millions of people, remained weak last month, adding to pressure on Beijing to roll out more measures to keep economic growth on target. The China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing’s manufacturing index showed activity stagnating. HSBC’s manufacturing index showed that manufacturing contracted for a third straight month as new export business fell at the sharpest rate in two years.

GREEK DRAMA: Greece’s negotiations with its European creditors on reforms it must make to get a vital 7.2 billion euro ($7.8 billion) payment from the bailout plan keeping it afloat dragged on past the weekend. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke with the French and German leaders on Sunday in their second conference call in three days to discuss progress in the talks, Greek officials said.

THE QUOTE: In China, “a policy driven pick-up in bank lending growth and recent efforts to speed up fiscal spending are now helping to shore up domestic demand. With more policy support likely in coming months, we are optimistic that growth will begin to pick up, at least over the short-run,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a commentary.

ASIA’S DAY: The Shanghai Composite jumped 4.7 per cent to 4,828.74 after tumbling 6.5 per cent on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.6 per cent to 27,597.16. Japan’s Nikkei 225 recovered from early losses, squeaking a smidgen higher to 20,569.87 while South Korea’s Kospi sank 0.6 per cent to 2,102.37. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.7 per cent to 5,735.40.

ENERGY: The futures contract for benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 57 cents to $59.73 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It jumped $2.62 on Friday to $60.30 a barrel. Brent crude, used to price oil sold internationally, fell 50 cents to $65.06 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar fell to 124.03 yen from 124.14 yen in the previous global trading session. The euro fell to $1.0902 from $1.0909.