Global stocks rise on Chinese data
Global stocks and oil rose today after Chinese data soothed worries that a potential hard landing by the world's second-largest economy would further crimp worldwide growth.
A 7.6 per cent reading of gross domestic product growth in China was a whisker above expectations, bolstering sentiment across the board in commodities and buoying stock prices.
US stocks opened higher, on track to snap six days of losses by the benchmark S&P 500 index, even though JPMorgan Chase & Co posted $4.4 billion of losses from its "London whale" trades. The bank also said it may incur $700 million to $1.7 billion in further losses.
"China pretty much came in line with expectations, and that could have been a very big miss which could have been catastrophic for the market," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
"JPMorgan, even with their adjustments, came in above expectations - that could have been a big negative."
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 66.04 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 12,639.31. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.80 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 1,342.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 14.53 points, or 0.51 per cent, at 2,880.72.
The FTSEurofirst 300 rose 1.1 per cent to 1040.11.The euro extended losses versus the safe-haven Japanese yen and US dollar after a Moody's downgrade of Italy added to an already bearish stance on the euro zone's common currency.
The euro was down 0.25 per cent at $1.2166, and against the yen, it was off 0.17 per cent at 96.52 yen.
Italian 10-year government bond yields jumped as the surprise ratings cut highlighted the risk that the debt crisis could eventually engulf the euro zone's third-biggest economy.
Moody's warned it could further downgrade Italy's credit rating, now just two notches above junk status, if the country's access to debt markets dried up.
Italian benchmark 10-year yields traded around 6 per cent.
Commodities staged a mini relief rally as the Chinese GDP data was not as bad as some had feared.
Brent crude oil futures were up 69 cents to $101.76 a barrel. US crude was up 50 cents at $86.58.The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note was down 6/32 in price to yield 1.4961 per cent.