TOKYO (AP) — Global stocks logged solid gains Wednesday after the first rise in nine months in Chinese exports suggested an improving outlook for the world's second largest economy.
KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 rose 2.5 percent to 4,454.93, while Germany's DAX also added 2.3 percent to 9,982.12. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.4 percent to 6,331.69. Dow and S&P 500 futures both rose 0.5 percent.
CHINESE DATA: Exports from China rose 11.5 percent in March compared with a year earlier, after slumping 25 percent in February. It's the first annual gain since June. Though the data may be distorted somewhat by holiday dates, investors largely seemed to welcome it.
THE QUOTE: "The bulls are firmly back in control of sentiment at present, but the risk of a reversal remains a threat," Chris Weston of IG said in a commentary. "Expect Europe to feed off the strong Asian session, and while S&P futures have pushed up modestly, our Europe market calls have warmed in appreciation."
OIL FACTOR: Oil prices stabilized after rallying on hopes for a production cut. Russian officials told Interfax, the Russian news agency, that they planned to reach a deal with Saudi Arabia to cut oil production. OPEC ministers meet this Sunday in Doha, Qatar.
Benchmark U.S. crude oil was down 72 cents to $41.45 a barrel in New York after surging $1.81 on Tuesday. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 62 cents to $44.07. It rose $1.86 on Tuesday.
ASIA'S DAY: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 added 2.8 percent to finish at 16,381.22. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 3.2 percent to 21,158.71, while the Shanghai Composite index climbed 1.4 percent at 3,066.64. Other regional benchmarks were higher nearly across the board, including Australia's S&P/ASX 200, which rose 1.5 percent to 5,127.20. South Korea's markets were closed for an election holiday.
CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $ 1.1301 from $1.1422 late Tuesday while the dollar rose to 109.39 yen from 108.31 yen.
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