European Stocks Take Heart From Improving Growth Outlook 17 Apr 2019

European stocks take heart from improving growth outlook 17 Apr 2019

European stock markets rose Wednesday as strong data from the world's two top economies sparked fresh hope for the growth outlook

London, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Apr, 2019 ) :European stock markets rose Wednesday as strong data from the world's two top economies sparked fresh hope for the growth outlook.

"Global growth concerns seem to be cooling," analysts at Charles Schwab said.

US numbers released before Wall Street's opening bell showed that the trade deficit in February fell to its lowest level in eight months, thanks in part to rising aircraft and auto exports, according to government data released Wednesday.

"This better than expected trade situation creates a really good platform for 1Q GDP growth," James Knightley, chief international economist at ING, said of the US data.

Earlier, Beijing reported that the Chinese economy expanded 6.4 percent in January-March, the same as the previous quarter but better than forecast by analysts in an AFP poll.

The news follows a number of readings indicating stability in China, with factory activity, exports, new loans and inflation all improving -- tempering concerns about a slowdown that could have a major impact on the global economy.

Markets nevertheless remain concerned over a broader Chinese economic slowdown -- and Beijing's ongoing trade war with Washington.

- 'Not as bad as feared' - "The longer term trend is very much against China, but these numbers may at least suggest all is not as bad as feared," noted Oanda analyst Craig Erlam.

"And if a trade deal is struck in the coming months with the US, as many expect, perhaps things could even improve." ThinkMarkets analyst Naeem Aslam added that the data handed a boost to the overall outlook.

"The truth is that the handoff from feeble economic numbers to strong economic numbers is here and this is good news," he said.

"Let's not forget, improving economic conditions over in China means better economic health of the global economy." Eurozone stock markets were firmly in positive territory in the European afternoon, while London lagged its peers as the pound strengthened.

Wall Street came off to a slightly softer start, as signs of a looming EU-US trade spat cooled investor sentiment after the EU unveiled a wide-ranging list of US-made goods, from beeswax to car parts, subject to tariffs in retaliation for subsidies to Boeing.

Meanwhile, the US corporate earnings season rumbled on providing, on balance, support to stock prices.

Elsewhere, oil prices extended gains after a US industry group reported a surprise drop in stockpiles, while OPEC-led output cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela kept a supply glut in check.

- Key figures around 1340 GMT - London - FTSE 100: UP 0.1 percent at 7,472.87 points Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.7 percent at 12,186.24 Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.6 percent at 5,563.17 EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.6 percent at 3,483.33 New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 26,414.77 Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3043 from $1.3048 at 2100 GMT on Tuesday Euro/pound: UP at 86.63 pence from 86.45 pence Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1300 from $1.1281 Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.97 Yen from 112.00 yen Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.3 percent at 22,277.97 (close) Hong Kong - Hang Seng: FLAT at 30,124.68 (close) Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.3 percent at 3,263.12 (close) Oil - Brent Crude: UP 3 cents at $71.75 per barrelOil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 16 cents at $64.21

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