Chinese trade data calms volatile global markets

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stronger-than-expected Chinese export data helped push global stock markets higher on Thursday following a volatile week that had investors scrambling for safety on fears of a worldwide economic pullback.

Investors were encouraged by data showing Chinese exports rose 3.3% in July from a year earlier, beating an expected decline of 2%. Chinese imports fell less than forecast, despite the U.S.-China trade war.

Markets went into a tailspin on Monday after China let its currency weaken beyond 7 yuan per dollar, a surprise move that investors took as retaliation for U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement of more tariffs on Chinese imports.

Investors fear the trade conflict between the world’s two biggest economies will cause a global recession. Bond markets have flashed red and a closely watched U.S. recession indicator reached its highest level since March 2007.

“There’s a little bit of calm back in the market at the moment,” said Peter Kinsella, global head of FX strategy at UBP. “But the ball is very much in Trump’s court.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 1.55% following broad gains in Europe. The index is now down 0.4% for the week.

Graphic: Global assets in 2019 – tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

Graphic: Global currencies versus dollar – tmsnrt.rs/2egbfVh

Graphic: Emerging markets in 2019 – tmsnrt.rs/2ihRugV

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., August 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Graphic: MSCI All Country World Index Market Cap – tmsnrt.rs/2EmTD6j

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 371.46 points, or 1.43%, to 26,378.53, the S&P 500 gained 54.13 points, or 1.88%, to 2,938.11, and the Nasdaq Composite added 176.33 points, or 2.24%, to 8,039.16.

Investors have rushed for the safety of bonds this week as fears of a recession jumped. Yields

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