Global stocks buoyed by China growth report

TOKYO - European and Asian stocks were buoyed Tuesday after China's quarterly economic growth met expectations, calming intense jitters about the global outlook that have battered markets since the beginning of the year.

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KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 rose 2.1 per cent to 4,279.24 and Germany's DAX added 1.9 per cent to 9,703.75. Britain's FTSE 100 gained 1.5 per cent to 5,868.47. U.S. shares were set for a sharp rise. Dow futures jumped 1.4 per cent to 16,132.00 and S&P 500 futures gained 1.4 per cent to 1,901.50. U.S. markets were closed for a public holiday Monday.

CHINA ECONOMY: China's economic growth edged down to 6.8 per cent in the final quarter of 2015 as trade and consumer spending weakened. The quarterly growth figure was the weakest in six years and 6.9 per cent growth for the full year was the lowest in 25 years. But that was in line with the government's target and close to the median of private forecasts. Some analysts had forecast a much sharper slowdown. Chinese leaders are trying to reduce reliance on trade and investment by nurturing slower, more self-sustaining growth based on domestic consumption and services.

THE QUOTE: China's "official data do not point to a hard landing in the fourth quarter of 2015, but they provide little reason to stop worrying about China's drag on the global economy, either," said Bill Adams, senior international economist at PNC Financial Services Group. "Chinese domestic demand remains weak, held back by three persistent headwinds."

ASIA'S DAY: China's Shanghai Composite surged 3.2 per cent to 3,007.74 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 2.1 per cent to 19,635.81. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.9 per cent to 4,903.10. Japan's Nikkei 225 inched up 0.6 per cent to 17,048.37. South Korea's Kospi added 0.6 per cent to 1,889.64. Other regional markets also finished higher, gaining in Taiwan, Southeast Asia, India and New Zealand.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 40 cents to $30.79 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, rose 74 cents to $29.29 per barrel.

CURRENCIES: The U.S. dollar edged up to 117.84 yen from 117.50 yen on Monday. The euro fell to $1.0874 from $1.0885.


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