Global stock markets mainly rose yesterday on optimism over trade talks between Beijing and Washington, with earnings results also heartening investors.
“Equity markets in Europe are higher as the positive move in Asia overnight has rubbed off on European sentiment,” said CMC Markets UK analyst David Madden.
“Firmer property prices in China combined with continued optimism surrounding the US-China trade talks drove Chinese stocks higher. The bullish sentiment spilled over to Europe.”
Asian equities rose, on the eve of vital Chinese first-quarter economic growth data, as investors brushed off a weak lead from Wall Street on Monday.
High-level talks between China and the US aimed at ending their long-running trade war are also being closely followed, with most observers optimistic they would reach a deal.
Both sides have sounded positive, and expectations for a deal have been a key driver of a rally in global markets this year and in offsetting worries about the outlook for the world economy.
Wall Street rose at the opening bell, with corporate performance cheering investors. Johnson & Johnson shares climbed 1.6 per cent after reporting a 3.9 per cent increase in operating revenue in the first quarter, far outpacing its earlier forecast for a nearly stagnant 2019.
In Europe, London’s FTSE 100 won 0.6 per cent, helped by news that British employment has reached a record-high level, shaking off uncertainty surrounding Brexit. And Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index climbed 0.7 per cent to make it the best performing market in Europe, winning a boost from rising investor confidence, dealers said.
A closely-watched German measure of investor confidence has clambered back into positive territory, data showed yesterday, pointing to a brighter outlook.
The ZEW institute’s barometer added 6.7 points for a reading of 3.1 in April, it said after its regular monthly polling of around 200 financial players and analysts.
That was the first positive reading for the indicator in just over a year, a period in which threats to growth like Brexit, trade wars and weakness in emerging markets have plagued investors.
Investor focus turns now to China’s economic growth figures today, which come after a number of upbeat readings on the world’s number two economy − including factory activity, inflation, new loans and trade − that have given some cause for optimism.
“China has implemented a huge amount of stimulus into the economy more recently to deal with the impact of trade wars and a general synchronised slowdown,” said analyst Sam Buckingham at Thomas Miller Investment.
“We are starting to see the positive signs of this stimulus showing up in some of the country’s soft data series.”