World markets rebound after week-long slump

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Published: August 13,2010

Tags: investing, investments, markets, stocks and bonds

BANGKOK — World markets rebounded today, breaking a week-long slump as investors scooped up beaten down stocks and Germany’s economy grew at its fastest pace for more than two decades.

But sentiment remained guarded as an overnight fall on Wall Street and a weak U.S. jobs report added to evidence the recovery in the world’s biggest economy is stumbling.

Economic figures from China and elsewhere have also showed signs of growth slowing in the third quarter, sending tremors through global markets.

Oil prices, meanwhile, rose above $76 a barrel, clawing back some of this week’s losses as stock markets climbed.

European markets were broadly higher after Germany’s economy, the continent’s biggest, surged ahead in the second quarter, growing 2.2 percent from the previous quarter, as exports boomed.

Britain’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent at 5,266.05, Germany’s DAX added 0.2 percent to 6,146.00 and France’s CAC-40 was higher by 0.4 percent at 3,633.88. Wall was set to gain with Dow futures up 56 points, or 0.6 percent, at 10,327.00

In Asia, South Korea’s Kospi gained 1.4 percent to 1,746.24 and the Shanghai Composite index rose 1.2 percent to 2,606.70. An advance in metals prices triggered buying in miners, which helped push Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 up 1.3 percent to 4,459.60. BHP Billiton Ltd. jumped nearly 2 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average added 0.4 percent to 9,253.46 but the Hang Seng index shed 0.2 percent to 21,071.57 after a day of back and forth trade.

Japanese auto shares retreated amid angst about the U.S. economy and the long-term implications of a strong yen, which hit a 15-year high against the dollar earlier this week.

The yen softened today after Japanese officials expressed concerns about currency levels, though it is likely to resume rising if the government refrains from intervention. Honda Motor Co. fell 0.3 percent and Toyota Motor Corp. was flat.

In Australia, shares of Telstra Corp. continued their descent after a disappointing earnings report sent the country’s largest telecommunications company down almost 10 percent yesterday.

In New York yesterday, the Dow Jones industrials fell 0.6 percent, to 10,319.95.

A weekly Labor Department report showed that the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time rose last week to 484,000. The gain was small, but economists had expected the number to drop. The news pointed to continuing weakness in the labor market, yet another sign that the economic recovery is slowing.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 0.5 percent to 1,083.61, and the Nasdaq composite index fell 0.8 percent to 2,190.27.

In currencies, the dollar fell to 85.84 yen from 86.06 yen late yesterday. The euro gained to $1.2845 from $1.2837.

Benchmark crude for September delivery was up 63 cents at $76.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract slid $2.28 to settle at $75.74 yesterday.

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