Last update: 12-Dec-2013 4:50 am
Thursday, December 12, 2013
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Chinese, European growth signs support stocks
LONDON—Evidence of a rebound in manufacturing activity in China and Europe helped global stock markets rise Monday, though Wall Street’s closure for Labour Day kept trading volumes light. The possibility of a US military strike against Syria in retaliation for alleged chemical weapons use against civilians continued to overhang markets but the initial concern has abated. UK lawmakers voted against involvement and President Barack Obama decided to seek approval from Congress. In Britain, the FTSE 100 added 1.5 per cent to close at 6,506.19. Most of that gain was thanks to cellphone company Vodafone which said it was with in talks with Verizon to sell its US mobile business. Confirmation of the US$130 billion deal came after trading in London had finished for the day, but Vodafone’s shares closed up 3.4 per cent at 2.13 pounds on expectations of the purchase.
Meanwhile, Germany’s DAX index ended the day up 1.74 per cent to 8,243.87 while France’s CAC-40 was up 1.84 per cent to 4,006.01. Italian and Spanish stocks were also up after surveys showed manufacturing activity rose in the two countries, which are in recession and have been focal points of Europe’s debt crisis. Global sentiment was also earlier boosted by two surveys that showed China’s manufacturing sector also improved last month after prolonged weakness.
The HSBC purchasing managers’ index rose to 50.1 points in August, a level that indicates expansion as output and new orders edged up slightly and order backlogs rose at the fastest pace in two years. The official China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing PMI rose to 51.0 from July’s 50.3, which was the highest level and biggest increase this year. The signs of improvement in China’s massive manufacturing industry are encouraging news for its overseas suppliers as Chinese leaders try to reverse a slowdown that’s pulled economic growth to a two-decade low of 7.5 percent in the latest quarter. (AP)
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