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World stocks gain on U.S. data; oil down on China - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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NEW YORK, (Reuters) – World stocks rose on Friday on news that U.S. factory activity expanded more than expected in June, but weakening industrial production in Asia kept oil prices down.

European stocks closed at their highest in one month and Wall Street stocks jumped more than 1 percent as the U.S. data encouraged investors to extend a Greece-inspired rally for a fifth day.

Prices of U.S. government debt fell after the U.S. manufacturing data, which raised hopes the world’s largest economy may be recovering from a recent slowdown.

“The economy has passed the tipping point risk and growth looks poised to resume a 3-percent-plus rate of gross domestic product growth in the second half of the year,” said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in New York.

The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 168.43 points, or 1.36 percent, at 12,582.77, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 19.03 points, or 1.44 percent, to 1,339.67. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 42.51 points, or 1.53 percent, to 2,816.03.

The three indexes had their best weekly percentage gains since July 2009 — the Dow rose 5.4 percent, the S&P 500 jumped 5.6 percent and the Nasdaq gained 6.2 percent.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares closed 0.76 percent higher.

Prices of benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell 9/32 after the U.S. manufacturing report, driving yields up to 3.1935 percent.

Gold prices fell as low as $1,481.70 an ounce, their weakest since May 17, as investors were relieved by the approval of Greece’s austerity package on Thursday, which eased fears of an imminent default by the Greek government.

In another sign of improved risk appetite, a key index of U.S. subprime mortgage bond prices jumped on Friday. The rise in the benchmark ABX index was triggered by the positive developments in the Greek sovereign debt crisis and by the suspension of the New York Fed’s Maiden Lane II auctions, Thomson Reuters’ IFR said.

The Maiden Lane II portfolio was created during the depths of the financial crisis to absorb the risky “private-label” mortgage securities from AIG, and help prevent the collapse of what was then the world’s largest insurer.

FACTORY SLOWDOWN ELSEWHERE

Still, investors remained concerned about the prospects for the global economic recovery as manufacturing data from other parts of the world were more sobering.

In Asia and Europe, purchasing managers’ indexes slid to multi-month lows in June as factories fought weaker consumer demand overseas and tightening monetary conditions at home.

U.S. crude oil prices settled 0.5 percent lower at $94.94 a barrel after a report showed the Chinese factory sector grew at its slowest pace in 28 months. China is the world’s largest consumer of raw materials.

“There is no doubt that the growth rate is slowing,” said Peter Dixon, an economist at Commerzbank in London. “There is nothing in the offing suggesting a rebound — we are in for a few months of slower growth,” he said.

The U.S. dollar rallied broadly after the ISM report but subsequently erased its gains. It was stable against a basket of major currencies, according to the U.S. dollar index .DXY.

The euro last traded at $1.4523, up 0.13 percent on the day. The European single currency gained more than 2 percent for the week, its best performance against the dollar since January.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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