China data and bank rules lift global stocks

By Al Yoon and Jeremy Gaunt

NEW YORK/LONDON (BestGrowthStock) – World stocks surged to a one-month high on Monday, driven by robust economic news from China and relief that new global bank rules would not mean a rush to raise billions of dollars in extra capital.

The European Commission also sharply upgraded its forecasts for euro zone and broader European growth.

Taken together, the news assuaged some of the most trenchant concerns among investors at the moment — those of stuttering economic growth and over the health of the global financial sector.

World stocks as measured by both MSCI (.MIWD00000PUS: ) and Thomson Reuters (.TRXFLDGLPU: ) climbed more than 1 percent to the highest since August 10. The MSCI emerging market benchmark (.MSCIEF: ) rose nearly 2 percent at a 4-1/2 month high.

U.S. indexes are headed for a fourth straight winning session and the eighth day of gains out of nine for the S&P 500 and Dow.

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) jumped 94.75 points, or 0.91 percent, to 10,557.52. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) rose 12.63 points, or 1.14 percent, to 1,122.18 and the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) increased 33.79 points, or 1.51 percent, to 2,276.27.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) gained 0.74 percent and Japan’s Nikkei (.N225: ) closed up 0.9 percent.

Asia emerging market growth has been a major filip to the rest of the world this year, making up for a somewhat moribund U.S. economic performance. Numbers on Saturday showed China factories increased production in August and money growth easily topped analysts’ expectations.

That was part of a mixed, but generally growth-positive message showing the economy remained buoyant despite Beijing’s efforts to clamp down on bank lending and property speculation.

“The good economic news out of China is leading to some renewed optimism on the economic front,” said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.

“This appears to be spurring a renewed interest in equities as investors start recognizing a recently neglected asset class that’s offering a value element.”

Global regulators on Sunday also eased fears that lenders would have to raise capital over the next year or so, agreeing to a long phase-in period to new requirements, known as Basel III, that require banks to hold top-quality capital totaling 7 percent of their risk-bearing assets.

The European Commission, meanwhile, almost doubled its forecast for this year’s euro zone growth, adding to a chunk of data signs in the past month which have shown the European upturn may be stronger than earlier expected.

In its twice-yearly interim economic forecasts for the 16 countries using the euro, it said it expected the group to grow 1.7 percent this year, up from 0.9 percent forecast in May and a 4.1 percent contraction in 2009.

“Risks of double dip (recession) straight away are clearly low. People have probably got over-worried in August that the end of the world is nigh,” said Michael Dicks, head of research and investment strategy at Barclay’s Wealth.

Another technology sector acquisition added to the positive tone in the U.S.

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N: ) said it would buy cybersecurity company ArcSight Inc (ARST.O: ) for $1.5 billion, the latest in a series of technology-sector transactions. ArcSight surged more than 25 percent to $43.92, and HP edged higher by 0.1 percent to $38.25.

DOLLAR DOWN

Despite all the concern around the U.S. recovery, economists are still forecasting it will grow faster than Europe, which will have to struggle with the impact of budget cuts required to head off worries over rising public debt across the bloc.

But the dollar has generally suffered as hopes for growth globally improve, and it also suffered as the EU forecasts improved views on the euro’s prospects.

The euro rose 1.2 percent against the dollar to $1.2831. The dollar lost 0.24 percent against the yen, to 83.96 yen.

“Better risk appetite is putting the dollar under pressure and the euro and currencies like the Australian dollar have been holding up very well,” said Niels Christensen, currency strategist at Nordea in Copenhagen.

The dollar was 0.73 percent lower against a basket of major currencies (.DXY: ). The currency tends to get hit when investors buy riskier and therefore higher-yielding assets.

In government debt, long-dated U.S. Treasuries were little changed but supported as bargain-hunting emerged. The bonds had fallen seven out of past eight sessions, as they have been deemed overvalued due to intense buying on fears of deflation and a double-dip recession.

Benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields fell 0.01 percentage point to 2.79 percent.

In commodities, U.S. light sweet crude oil rose $1.46, or 1.91 percent, to $77.91 per barrel, and spot gold fell 25 cents, or 0.02 percent, to $1245.70.

(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr and Richard Leong in New York and Jessica Mortimer in London)

(Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)

China data and bank rules lift global stocks