It was a veritable sea of green across global stock markets Wednesday, with favorable economic data from China propping up markets even as crude oil prices fell overnight. All major global stock indexes, including U.S. stock futures, were trading in the positive territory, led in part by commodity stocks.
China’s exports showed an increase of 11.5 percent in March from a year ago, the first rise in nine months. While some economists warned that the data was not necessarily a true reflection of stronger demand globally, influenced as it was by a low base effect and seasonal distortions, stock markets — even those outside China — still cheered the news.
In China, the Shanghai Composite and Shenzhen Composite indexes closed 1.42 percent and 1.39 percent higher respectively, while the tech-heavy ChiNext Price Index was up 1.33 percent. Offshore, the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong rose 3.19 percent.
Elsewhere in the region, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed 2.84 percent higher, spurred by a fall in the yen against the dollar. The S&P BSE Sensex in India gained 1.98 percent and the Kospi Index in South Korea — which voted in parliamentary elections Wednesday — was up 0.56 percent.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1.59 percent and the Straits Times Index in Singapore closed 2.69 percent higher.
China also reported a sharp rise in import volumes of most major commodities, notably copper and iron ore, which, combined with cues from Asian markets, bode well for European markets despite a worse-than-expected decline in Eurozone's industrial production in February.
The commodity-heavy FTSE 100 Index in London was trading 1.44 percent higher before noon, while the CAC 40 Index in France and the DAX Index in Germany were also up by 2.51 percent and 2.28 percent respectively, and the pan-European Stoxx 500 Index was up almost 2 percent.
At about 6:30 a.m. EDT, index futures in the U.S. were all trading positive, with S&P 500 futures up 0.5 percent, Dow Jones futures gaining 0.46 percent and Nasdaq futures higher by 0.7 percent.
Meanwhile, crude oil prices slipped again on concerns of oversupply. The global benchmark, Brent Crude, was lower by 1.12 percent at about 6:10 a.m. EDT while the U.S. benchmark, West Texas Intermediate, slipped 1.49 percent.