AP and AFP
HONG KONG/TOKYO–Global stock markets swung higher Thursday, led by a surge in Chinese shares, extending a volatile pattern of sharp sell-offs and rousing gains as investors second guess uncertain prospects for the world economy.
Britain’s FTSE 100 jumped 1.1 percent to 6,459.44. France’s CAC-40 was 1.1 percent higher at 4,268.83 and Germany’s DAX added 1.3 percent to 9,939.39. U.S. shares were also set to rise. Dow futures were up 0.8 percent to 17,500. S&P 500 futures gained 0.8 percent to 2,023.40.
Oil prices resumed their downward spiral in Asia Thursday after rallying in the previous session on bargain-buying, while the dollar recovered after plunging in New York in reaction to disappointing U.S. retail sales data. Most regional markets enjoyed a pick-up following recent losses, with Mumbai boosted by a surprise interest rate cut by the Reserve Bank of India and Tokyo boosted by a weaker yen. Shanghai and Hong Kong was also supported by speculation Chinese leaders are taking measures to increase liquidity in financial markets in a bid to boost lending. Crude enjoyed a rare five percent rally on Wednesday after plunging close to six-year lows, with analysts saying a pick-up had been expected after the commodity had crashed more than 50 percent since June. ��Just so much of the bearish news has been priced in, it’s just overdue for a correction,�� said John Kilduff, founding partner at hedge fund Again Capital. However, the two main contracts retreated again Thursday as dealers digested news that U.S. stockpiles had risen, adding to long-running concerns about a supply glut and weak demand. U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate for February delivery lost 70 cents to US$47.78 and Brent fell 116 cents to US$47.53. In share trading Tokyo rose 1.84 percent, or 312.74 points, to end at 17,108.70 as the dollar recovered against the yen after taking a hit in New York, while Shanghai surged 3.54 percent, or 114.02 points, to end at 3,336.46. Seoul was marginally higher, adding 0.48 points to close at 1,914.14 but Sydney lost 0.41 percent, or 22.2 points, to finish at 5,331.4.