Global stocks gain after reassurances from China on yuan

MANILA, Philippines - Global stocks rose Friday after China's central bank governor pledged not to devalue the yuan for the sake of export competitiveness.

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But gains were limited as oil prices fell back and G20 financial leaders meeting in Shanghai offered mixed messages over the potential for new stimulus to stave off the risk of recession.

KEEPING SCORE: Most European indices were up in early trading. Britain's FTSE 100 climbed 1.2 per cent to 6,086.03. Germany's DAX gained 2 per cent at 9,523.50. France's CAC 40 rose 1.9 per cent to 4,330.63. Dow and S&P futures both rose 0.5 per cent, suggesting an upbeat start to trading.

CHINA CURRENCY: Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of China's central bank, told a conference on the sidelines of a meeting of financial leaders of the Group of 20 industrial nations that Beijing would not engage in devaluations for the sake of its export competitiveness. Zhou urged that the gathering focus on managing lacklustre global demand, structural economic reforms and promoting "sustainable and balanced" growth.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "Taken alongside Ministry of Finance proposals that China can afford a fiscal deficit of 4 per cent of GDP, further stimulatory support does look forthcoming in 2016," Angus Nicholson of IG said in a commentary. "However, Zhou Xiaochuan is unlikely to be able to abide by all his statements today, at least if we take them at face value."

G20 FINANCE AGENDA: Finance ministers and central bankers of the G20 rich and developing economies were seeking to douse hopes a two-day meeting in Shanghai that began Friday will produce specific growth plans similar to those rolled out in 2009 in response to the global crisis. Instead, many were urging faster progress on pro-growth structural reforms instead of relying on monetary and fiscal policy to boost growth.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.3 per cent higher at 16,188.41 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 2.5 per cent to 19,364.15. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 closed nearly flat at 4,945.10. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1 per cent to 2,767.21 after plunging 6.4 per cent Thursday. South Korea's Kospi rose 1.6 per cent to 1,920.16. Markets in Southeast Asia and Taiwan also gained.

OIL: U.S. crude gained 49 cents to $33.56 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It closed up 92 cents or nearly 3 per cent to $33.07 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, rose 33 cents to $36.03 a barrel. On Thursday, it rose 63 cents to $35.70 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 112.91 yen from 112.30 in the previous day's trading. The euro fell to $1.1012 from $1.1020.


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