Global stocks mostly higher after China data shows economic growth has stabilized

TOKYO – Global shares Wednesday were mostly higher, although only slightly, as attention focused on key economic indicators from China that showed little change.

KEEPING SCORE: France’s CAC 40 added 0.6 per cent to 4,939.17 in early trading and Germany’s DAX rose 0.8 per cent to 10,919.40. Britain’s FTSE 100 edged up 0.4 per cent to 6,301.44. U.S. shares were set to drift higher, with S&P 500 futures buoyed 0.3 per cent to 2,082.50.

ASIA’S DAY: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 was little changed, inching up 0.1 per cent at 19,691.39. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.03 per cent to 1,997.27. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.2 per cent to 22,352.17, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.3 per cent to 3,650.25. Other regional markets were lower, with shares falling in Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand.

CHINA FACTOR: China’s factory output and investment weakened in October and retail sales growth edged up, suggesting economic growth has stabilized but has yet to revive despite repeated interest rate cuts and other stimulus. Industrial output expanded 5.6 per cent in October, down from 5.7 per cent in September, and retail sales grew 11 per cent last month, up from 10.9 per cent. China’s fixed-asset investment grew 10.2 per cent year on year in the first 10 months of 2015, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The growth was 0.1 percentage point slower than the expansion seen in the first three quarters.

THE QUOTE: “Market focus will be on today’s release of fixed asset investment and industrial production to gauge if there has been an interim stabilization,” said Chang Wei Liang, of the Singapore Treasury Division of Mizuho Bank, referring to China data, following the inflation indicator from Tuesday that suggested a need for further easing and stimulus measures.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 55 cents to $43.65 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, fell 21 cents to $47.89 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 123.12 yen from 123.19 yen. The euro rose to $1.0739 from $1.0721.


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