World stocks rise on Chinese central bank support

AP News
Posted: Jan 21, 2014 4:38 AM

BEIJING (AP) — World stocks rose Tuesday after China's central bank injected extra credit into its financial system, helping to offset concern about slower Chinese growth.

Markets were uneasy the day before after China's fourth-quarter growth declined slightly from the previous quarter but confidence rebounded after the Chinese central bank promised extra liquidity in the financial system. The move comes ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, when credit often is tight.

"This will reduce the credit crunch fears and assure funding continues to flow into the Chinese economy over this period," said strategist Evan Lucas at IG Markets in a report.

China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.9 percent to 2,008.31 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 jumped 1 percent to 15,795.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent to 23,033.12 while Seoul, Taiwan and Sydney also rose.

In Europe, France's CAC-40 gained 0.2 percent to 4,329.53 and Germany's DAX was up 0.3 percent at 9,743.28. Britain's FTSE 100 was little changed at 6,838.97.

Wall Street was set to open higher after a long weekend, with Dow and S&P 500 futures both up 0.3 percent. Analysts say investors are looking ahead to U.S. corporate earnings and the Federal Reserve's next meeting Jan 29.

Among smaller Asian markets, Seoul's Kospi rose 0.5 percent to 1,963.89. Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.7 percent to 5,331.50 while India's Sensex added 0.2 percent to 21,244.28. Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta and New Zealand also rose.

Data on Monday showed China's economy expanded by 7.7 percent in the final quarter of the year, down slightly from the previous quarter's 7.8 percent. But quarter-on-quarter, growth in the three months ending in December slumped to 1.8 percent from the previous period's 2.2 percent.

China's growth is far stronger than the United States, Japan or Europe but factory output, retail sales and investment cooled toward the end of 2013. Slower growth will complicate the ruling Communist Party's efforts to encourage more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption instead of trade and investment.

In energy markets, benchmark crude for February delivery was down 16 cents at $94.21 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The euro was barely changed at $1.3543 while the dollar gained 0.2 percent to 104.65 yen.