Global Stocks Rise as Sentiment Improves

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By Jacob Maslow

Share prices edged higher on Wednesday following the release of encouraging economic data from several major economies including Australia, Switzerland and the United States.

Major Asian economies China and Japan both saw their main indices rise by more than 4%, sending Asian stocks into two-month highs.

Japan’s Nikkei gained 4%, while Hong Kong’s HangSeng Index climbed 3%. Neighboring China likewise had a good trading day, with its main bourses surging by more than 4%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 2.4%, hitting a 54-day high.  MSCI’s broadest gauge of global markets likewise rose, hitting 2-month highs.

European markets were also trending upwards, climbing for five days straight.

The FTSEuroFirst index of leading 300 shares went up by 0.7% to 1,3412 points. FTSE 100 also edged higher, rising 0.6%, while Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC rose by 1% and 0.8% respectively.

Despite signs of slowdown in China’s manufacturing sector, investors remained upbeat thanks to increasing U.S. construction spending, now reaching levels not seen since October 2007.

Positive Australian and Swiss growth figures also helped bolster investor sentiment.

In the U.S., the S&P 500 Index rose by 2.39%, climbing to an 8-week high of 1,978.35 points, but stock futures pointed to a generally flat open on Wall Street.

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