May 24, 2013
Strong data lifts shares
Strong economic data lifted global equity markets and drove the S&P 500 to a five-year high today.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 40.86 points, or 0.29 percent, to 13,984.91. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 7.73 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,517.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 28.03 points, or 0.89 percent, to 3,193.16
European shares rose today to recover from sharp falls the previous session, as robust Chinese trade data boosted expectations the global economy would strengthen and in turn maintain demand for equities.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.6 percent to 1,155.25 points, bouncing back from a 0.3 percent fall yesterday that sent it to its lowest close since December 31.
The euro zone's blue-chip Euro STOXX 50 index also rose 0.6 percent to 2,613.72 points.
Data showed Chinese exports grew 25 percent in January from a year earlier versus a Reuters poll forecast of 17 percent, while imports climbed 28.8 percent, highlighting robust domestic demand.
The new signs of growth in China, which is the world's biggest consumer of metals, boosted mining stocks and financial shares which are sensitive to the health of the global economy.
The STOXX Europe 600 banking index and the basic resources index, which includes mining companies, stood out as among the best-performing European equity sectors, rising by 1.1 and 0.5 percent respectively.
Japan's Nikkei share average dropped today to mark its first weekly loss in 13 weeks as sentiment was dented by gloomy comments from the ECB president on Europe's outlook, while Sony Corp tripped up on disappointing quarterly results.
The Nikkei fell 1.8 percent to 11,153.16, snapping its longest weekly winning streak in 54 years by ending 0.3 percent down on the week. The benchmark also pulled further away from a 33-month high of 11,498.42 struck on Wednesday.
The broader Topix dropped 1.2 percent to 957.35, with 4.23 billion shares changing hands, slightly lower than yesterday.