Global Stocks Build on Wall St. Rally

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) -- Asian markets gained Wednesday, building on Wall Street's overnight rally. Shares in Japan rose on stronger-than-expected trade data and a weaker yen.

KEEPING SCORE: Germany's DAX gained 1.2 percent in early trading to 11,738.79 and the CAC 40 of France jumped 1.1 percent to 4,881.44. Britain's FTSE 100 was flat at 7,150.34. Futures for both the Dow and S&P 500 were up 0.3 percent, suggesting a solid start for Wednesday trading.

WALL STREET: U.S. stocks posted solid gains Tuesday, spurred by better-than-expected corporate earnings and President Donald Trump's approval of two controversial oil pipelines in the U.S. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 0.6 percent to 19,912.71. The S&P 500 index gained 0.7 percent to 2,280.07, the highest close for the index since Jan. 6. The Nasdaq added 0.9 percent to 5600.96, the highest close for the tech-heavy index since Jan. 13.

JAPAN SURPLUS: Japan posted a trade surplus in 2016, its first in six years, as lower oil prices pulled imports lower, the government reported Wednesday. A jump in exports to China and other Asian countries late in the year also helped turn the balance to black. The 4.1 trillion yen ($35.8 billion) surplus compared with a 2.8 trillion yen deficit in 2015. Exports fell 7.4 percent from a year earlier to 70.04 trillion yen ($617 billion) while imports dropped 16 percent to 66 trillion yen ($581 billion).

ANALYST'S QUOTE: "What Trump has done since his inauguration is generally consistent with his promises during the election campaign. The simple and easy to remember slogan 'buy American and hire American' will be his key pursuit in the foreseeable future. The good news for the US stock market is that a new wave of the 'Trump rally' has probably just started," Margaret Yang Yan, market analyst with CMC Markets, said in a report.

ASIA'S DAY: Tokyo's Nikkei 225 surged 1.4 percent to 19,057.50 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.4 percent to 23,049.12. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 gained 0.4 percent to 5,671.50 and the Shanghai Composite index added 0.2 percent to 3,149.55. South Korea's Kospi gained 0.1 percent to 2,066.94. The Sensex in India added 1.3 percent to 27,720.31. Benchmarks in Southeast Asia were mostly higher.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude dipped 23 cents to $52.95 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 43 cents to close at $53.18 a barrel on Tuesday. Brent crude, used to price international oils, fell 22 cents to $55.22 in London. It gained 21 cents the previous session to $55.44.

CURRENCY: In currency markets, the dollar retreated to 113.58 yen from 113.89. The euro rose to $1.0753 from $1.0723.

(KA)