5 Jan 2010

Markets buoyed as trading year begins

6:37 pm on 5 January 2010

Share and commodity prices throughout the world have risen following news of improved manufacturing output in the United States and China.

Most stock markets opened the new trading year encouraged by news that China's manufacturing industry expanded in December at its fastest rate since April 2004.

There was also a boost for European and US shares from reports that American manufacturing grew in December for the fifth month in a row. Commodity prices also gained.

However, there was also a reminder of the severity of the global recession, with Singapore's economy declining quite sharply in the final quarter of last year after six months of renewed growth.

US stocks staged a strong rally on Monday, with sentiment boosted by a global market rally helped by corporate dealmaking and the positive economic news from China, AFP reports.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 157.04 points, or 1.51%, to 10,585.09 at the closing bell, on the heels of hefty gains in stock markets in most of Europe and Japan.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq composite lifted 39.03 points (1.72%) to 2,308.18, while the broad-market Standard and Poor's 500 index advanced 17.95 points (1.61%) to a preliminary close of 1,133.05.

The Dow and S&P closed at their best levels in 15 months, while the Nasdaq hit a 16-month high amid a wave of optimism on markets.

Europe's main stock markets also closed higher on Monday, as investors bet on the global economy recovering from the worst slump since the 1930s.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares rose 1.62% to 5,500.34 points.

In Paris, the CAC 40 closed above the key 4,000 points level for the first time since October 2008, jumping 1.97% to 4,013.97 points, and in Frankfurt, the DAX added 1,53% to 6,048.30 points.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 closed up 1.16% to 3268 on turnover of $38.1 million.