Global Stocks Up on US Economic Data

TOKYO (AP) -- Global shares jumped Wednesday after encouraging signs of strength in the U.S. economy sent shares higher on Wall Street, and a weaker yen boosted Japan's benchmark.

KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 added nearly 0.7 percent in early trading to 4,436.94. Germany's DAX rose nearly 0.8 percent to 9,793.25. Britain's FTSE 100 edged up 0.6 percent to 6,188.19. U.S. shares were set to drift higher, with Dow futures inching up nearly 0.1 percent to 16,865. S&P 500 futures inched up 0.07 percent to 1,979.30.

UPBEAT US: Stocks on Wall Street roared to their best day in more than a month overnight on positive data, including construction spending reaching its highest level in eight years in January. Separately, a survey showed some signs of life in the beaten-down U.S. manufacturing sector.

ANALYST VIEWPOINT: "We have seen an immense risk-on rally over the past 24 hours of trade, and a lot of this does look to be underpinned by the stability that oil has found above the US$30 level over the past two weeks," Angus Nicholson of IG said in a commentary.

ASIA'S DAY: A weak yen added to investor optimism, sending Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 up 4.1 percent to close at 16,746.55. South Korea's Kospi rose 1.6 percent to 1,947.42. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 3.1 percent to 20,003.49, while the Shanghai Composite Index added 4.3 percent to 2,849.68. Other regional markets were also higher, including Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia.

ENERGY: U.S. crude fell 49 cents to $33.91 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oils, dipped 6 cents to $36.75 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.0865 from $1.0883 late Tuesday and the dollar rose to 114.37 yen from 112.38 yen.

(KA)