HONG KONG (AP) — Thai stocks surged Friday as investors were reassured by signs of a smooth succession following the death of the country's long-reigning king. Other world indexes also rose, buoyed by higher-than-expected Chinese inflation figures that eased worries over the world's No. 2 economy.
KEEPING SCORE: European shares opened sharply higher. France's CAC 40 jumped 1.2 percent to 4,458.71 and Germany's DAX leaped 1 percent to 10,524.12. Britain's FTSE 100 advanced 0.7 percent to 7,022.78. U.S. stocks were poised to rise, with Dow futures up 0.2 percent to 18,056.00 and broader S&P 500 futures gaining 0.2 percent to 2,130.00.
ASIA'S DAY: After days of losses due to uncertainty over the king's declining health, Thailand's SET jumped 4.7 percent to 1,478.95. Investors saw little immediate fallout after the king's death was announced late Thursday, with Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn expected to ascend the throne, although no coronation date has been set. The prime minister told the country in a televised address that to minimize disruptions, businesses, the stock market, tourist attractions and public transport would operate as usual on Friday.
ANALYST VIEW: "The expectation has been more or less priced in, so it's not a surprise to see a rebound today when the news actually came out" of the king's death, said Margaret Yang of CMC Markets in Singapore. "In the longer term, we will still have to keep an eye on the transition, if there is any rising political risk in the country, but that's more of a mid and longer term perspective."
CHINA INFLATION: Consumer prices in China rose 1.9 percent last month, higher than the 1.6 percent forecast by analysts in a FactSet survey. The numbers suggest consumer demand is starting to pick up. Another gauge of inflation released by China's statistics bureau, the producer price index, turned positive for the first time since 2012. Analysts predicted say the data may mark the end of global deflation as Chinese factories pass rising costs on to overseas customers.
OTHER ASIAN MARKETS: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.5 percent to 16,856.37 and South Korea's Kospi advanced 0.4 percent to 2,022.66. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.9 percent to 23,233.31 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China edged up 0.1 percent to 3,063.81. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 slipped slightly to 5,434.00.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 104.34 yen from 103.64 yen. The euro slipped to $1.1017 from $1.1052.
ENERGY: Oil prices extended gains. Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures rose 57 cents to $51.01 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract added 26 cents to settle at $50.44 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude, the international standard, added 39 cents to $52.42 a barrel in London.