Jumaat, 13 Februari 2009

World markets rise after Wall Street bounceback

BANGKOK: World stock markets rose on Friday, boosted by a late turnaround on Wall Street and on hopes about government attempts to resuscitate

ailing economies as Group of Seven finance ministers gathered in Rome.

Markets rebounded after swooning earlier this week on a lack of detail in the Obama administration's $2 trillion plan to revive the floundering U.S. banking sector. Investors seemed to take heart after Wall Street clawed back deep losses Thursday on reports the government may subsidize mortgage payments for troubled homeowners.

A surprise jump in U.S. retail sales for January also offered a glimmer of hope about the world's largest economy though other data painted a less sanguine picture.

China's markets extended gains of the past two months on hopes that Beijing's $586 bn economic stimulus package will engineer a quick recovery for the country's rapidly slowing economy. The Shanghai Composite Index was up 3.2 percent and has gained more than 20 percent since Nov. 28, the last day of trading for that month.

Chinese central bank figures released Thursday showed bank lending more than doubled in January to a record 1.62 trillion yuan ($237 bn) as lenders heeded government calls to loosen credit controls to help revive the economy.

``Liquidity drove stocks higher,'' said Mao Sheng, analyst for Huaxi Securities in the western city of Chengdu. ``Investors are expecting even more new loans and money supplies in February.''

In Australia, the main stock index rose 1.3 percent after the government succeeded in pushing a $28 billion economic stimulus package through the Senate following an earlier defeat.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average climbed 74.04 points, or 1 percent, at 7,779.40, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 326.37, or 2.5 percent, to 13,554.67. Markets in South Korea and Singapore also gained.

As trading got under way in Europe, France's CAC 40 was up 2.5 percent, Germany's DAX gained 2.1 percent and Britain's FTSE 100 rose 1.5 percent.

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street. Dow futures rose 16, or 0.2 percent, to 7,953 and S&P 500 futures were up 2.5 points, or 0.3 percent, at 837.90.

Despite the advance, trading in Asia was cautious as investors awaited a G7 meeting in Rome that begins Friday and the release next week of Japan's fourth quarter growth figures. Markets expect the world's second-largest economy to have contracted an annualized 11.7 percent in the last three months of 2008.

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