NEW YORK - Global stock markets rose on Friday after JP Morgan's results kicked off the U.S. corporate earnings season in style, while signs of stabilization in China's economy also helped riskier assets on views the growth outlook worldwide is better than thought.
Chinese data showed exports rebounded last month, driving U.S. and euro zone bond yields to three-week highs and helping offset weaker imports and reports of another cut in German growth forecasts.
Investors are looking for signs of a Chinese economic recovery to temper global growth worries, especially after the International Monetary Fund this week downgraded its 2019 world economic outlook for the third time.
China's trade results, as well as credit data, have helped boost risk appetite and reinforce the stabilization thesis, which should have spill-over effects for the global economy, said Candice Bangsund, a portfolio manager with the global asset allocation team at Fiera Capital in Montreal.
"The whole China situation really appears to be gaining some ground," Bangsund said. "We saw a very impressive rebound in exports, this of course is helping alleviate fears of a hard landing."
MSCI's gauge of equity market performance in 47 countries gained 0.37%, while the EURO STOXX 50 index rose 0.31%.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 186.88 points, or 0.71%, to 26,329.93. The S&P 500 gained 12.47 points, or 0.43%, to 2,900.79 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.07 points, or 0.24%, to 7,966.43
The euro gained despite the German growth concerns. Dealers were gearing up for demand from Japan as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial closed in on its multi-billion-euro acquisition of DZ Bank's aviation-finance business.
The dollar index fell 0.37%, with the euro up 0.56% to $1.1313. The Japanese yen weakened 0.28% versus the greenback at 111.99 per dollar.7
Euro zone and U.S. government debt yields rose after the rebound in Chinese exports.
Yields on Germany's 10-year government bond crossed into positive territory, to 0.054%.
Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell 13/32 in price to push up their yield to 2.5507%.
CRUDE OIL'S BIG 2019 START
Oil provided the big milestones. Brent was at $71.4 a barrel, having broken back through the $70 threshold this week, and U.S. WTI was heading for a sixth straight week of gains for the first time since early 2016.
Involuntary supply cuts in Venezuela, Libya and Iran have supported perceptions of a tightening market, already constrained by production cuts from OPEC and its allies.
Brent crude oil futures rose 64 cents to $71.47 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate crude futures, the U.S. benchmark, added 64 to $64.22.
Commodities have had the best first-quarter start ever, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said, calling the annualized returns they are tracking the strongest in the past 100 years.
Taking advantage of strong prices and subdued valuations for oil producers, Chevron said it will buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $33 billion in cash and stock.
Gold steadied en route to its first weekly gain in three weeks as the dollar weakened, although the metal's advances were capped by stronger equities.
Gold crept higher after falling more than 1 percent on Thursday to break below $1,300 following solid U.S. data. Spot gold traded at $1,292.41 per ounce.