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European and Asian stocks rise on improved China industrial data



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Asian and European stock markets rose on Wednesday, steadying after losses this week, as investors welcomed improved industrial data from China.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.7 per cent and China’s CSI advanced 0.2 per cent following a two-day losing streak. In Europe, the region-wide Stoxx Europe 600 index edged 0.1 per cent higher at the opening bell as tech and healthcare stocks buoyed the index after four straight days of losses.

Data showed that profits in China’s industrial sector fell 11.7 per cent year-on-year in the first eight months of 2023, compared with a larger 15.5 per cent contraction in the first seven months of the year, a sign that recent support measures may be helping to stabilise the world’s second-largest economy.

Energy and industrial stocks were among those driving the benchmark CSI 300 index higher on Wednesday, up 1.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent, respectively. 

Strong economic data pushed up oil prices, which have already risen 30 per cent since June as some of the world’s biggest producers of the fossil fuel announced a series of supply cuts to last until the end of this year. 

International benchmark Brent crude added 0.7 per cent to $94.6 while West Texas Intermediate, the US equivalent, rose 1.1 per cent to $91.35.

Investors turn to data on US durable goods orders, due later in the day, in hopes to gauge how the economy was faring more than a year after the Federal Reserve began its aggressive monetary tightening campaign to tame inflation. 

Economists expect the closely watched gauge of US manufacturing activity to have fallen 0.5 per cent month on month in August, marking a sharp improvement from a 5.2 per cent contraction in the previous month. 

A resilient US economy had so far offered Fed policymakers an opportunity to pursue restrictive policy, sending long term Treasury yields to multiyear highs and helping the dollar reach its strongest level in 10 months. 

In government debt markets, yields on the benchmark 10-year Treasury slipped 0.05 percentage points to 4.51 per cent on Wednesday, while yields on the 30-year note rose 0.05 percentage points to 4.65 per cent. 

The dollar, which tends to strengthen when investors expect higher rates, was flat against a basket of six peer currencies, remaining near its highest level since November 2022. 

Contracts tracking Wall Street’s S&P 500 and those tracking the tech-focused Nasdaq 100 both advanced 0.3 per cent ahead of the New York open.


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