World shares bounce back, tracking US gains; Nikkei buoyed by weaker yen

By , on January 15, 2014

TOKYO—Stock markets rose Wednesday as an upbeat World Bank assessment of the global economic outlook underpinned buying spurred by stronger U.S. retail sales.

In early European trading, Britain’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 per cent to 6,789.85 and Germany’s DAX gained 0.9 per cent to 9,628.74. The CAC-40 in France rose 0.6 per cent to 4,297.62.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 climbed 2.5 per cent to 15,808.73, recovering much of its 3.1 per cent loss on Tuesday as the Japanese yen weakened relative to the dollar, boosting exporters such as Toyota and Sony. Futures augured gains on Wall Street, with Dow futures up 0.3 per cent and S&P 500 futures up 0.32 per cent.

The antidote to the pessimism that prevailed in recent days following a dismal U.S. jobs report came with Tuesday’s release of better-than-expected U.S. retail sales for December.

The World Bank, meanwhile, reported that advanced economies appeared to have turned the corner after five years of financial crises and recession.

It forecast global growth will firm to 3.2 per cent this year from 2.4 per cent in 2013.

Among Asian markets, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.5 per cent to 22,902 and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4 per cent to 1,953.28. Markets in Singapore, the Philippines, Taiwan and Australia also gained.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.2 per cent to 2,023.35 as investors anticipated an influx of new listings.

“Chinese investors are worried the recent restart of IPOs may cause a funds shortage,” said Xu Xiaoyu, an analyst at China Investment Securities, based in Beijing.

Bangkok’s stock benchmark shed 0.5 per cent amid protests by anti-government activists seeking to force the Thai prime minister from office. Analysts say the Thai economy and currency could suffer if the protests continue.

In foreign exchange dealings, the euro was down 0.3 per cent at $1.3631 while the dollar rose 0.2 per cent to 104.36 yen.

Benchmark U.S. crude for February delivery was up 2 cents to $92.61 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 79 cents to close at $92.59 on Tuesday.

Fu Ting in Shanghai contributed to this report.