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Stock markets hit new highs on China data, trade deal news

By Elena Berton

Encouraging economic data from China and the trade deal news from the US helped markets reach fresh record highs.

Stock markets enjoyed a record session, buoyed by encouraging China economic data and the trade deal news from the US, which sealed agreements with China, Mexico and Canada.

China’s GDP figures were broadly in line with estimates a day after strong US retail data.

Chinese industrial production “is quite telling, because more broadly it speaks to the bottoming out in the global industrial-production cycle, which we’ve been looking for and the market’s been looking for the last six to nine months,” John Woods, chief investment officer for the Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, told Bloomberg TV. This suggests “the global economy is on a recovering path,” he added.

A further boost to sentiment came from the positive tone in the talks between EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan and Washington, soothing market concerns over a possible escalation in cross-Atlantic trade tensions.

“The positive comments surrounding one of the United States’ other trade conflicts - with the EU - it just adds to the overall feeling of relief,” Connor Campbell, analyst at UK financial spread better Spreadex, told Reuters.

The Stoxx Europe 600 was on track for its biggest gains since December, rising 0.95 per cent at 424.55 in late afternoon trading.

Germany’s DAX 30 index climbed to close 0.72 per cent higher at 13,526.13, as the country’s export-reliant economy stands to gain from easing trade tensions.

The French CAC 40 and the FTSE 100 ended up 1.02 per cent and 0.86 per cent, respectively.

The five per cent jump in Richemont shares after the Swiss luxury-goods said jewellery lifted third-quarter sales gave a boost to French luxury goods stocks Kering, LVMH and Hermès.

The benchmark S&P 500 index climbed 0.1 per cent to 3,321.37 in early trading in New York, the highest level on record.

The Dow Jones Industrial rose 0.1 per cent to 29,319.32, reaching the highest on record with its fifth consecutive advance, which Nasdaq Composite also set new highs, up 0.1 per cent to 9,366.73.

West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery advanced 17 cents, or 0.3 per cent, at $58.70 (€52,70, £44,83) a barrel after rising 1.2 per cent on the previous day.

March Brent crude, the global benchmark, rose 25 cents, or 0.4 per cent, at $64.87 a barrel, up 1 per cent on the previous day.

Gold advanced 0.4 per cent to $1,558.38 an ounce, the highest in a week.

The euro decreased 0.3 per cent to $1.1102, the weakest level in more than three weeks as the US currency strengthened on the back of the trade deal news.

Bitcoin was trading around at $8,863 level in late afternoon trading, after hitting the $9,000 barrier earlier in the day, following a bullish run up overnight.

FURTHER READING: US-China trade agreement signed in Washington

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