Global markets rally as Japanese stocks surge 7% on extra stimulus hopes
European and Asian markets rallied Monday as Japanese stocks surged after dismal growth data raised hopes of extra stimulus from Tokyo. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index rebounded from a 5% dive last week to surge 7.2% to close at 16,022.58, its second biggest one-day gain in three years. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 3.3% to 18,918.14. China was the lone exception as the Shanghai composite index dropped 0.6% to finish at 2,746.20 on its first day of trading after a week-long holiday.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX index was up 2.8%, France’s CAC 40 surged 3.3% and Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 2.2%. U.S. markets are closed Monday for Presidents Day but U.S. stock futures were trading higher by more than 1%. Gold was down 2.8% at $1,205 an ounce as stocks surged Monday. Oil prices rose 1.3% to $29.83 a barrel.
The latest data out of Japan shows the economy shrank 1.4% on an annualized basis last quarter because of weak consumer demand and slower exports. While a setback for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s economic revival program — which aims to stoke inflation through massive monetary easing — economists said the latest report gives the government more reason to open the stimulus taps wider to restore growth. Major U.S. benchmarks closed higher Friday, helped by a rally in oil and good news in the banking sector, as the Dow and S&P 500 broke a 5-day losing streak.