European Shares Set To Extend Gains After China Data

European stocks may open higher on Friday after data showed China’s trade grew by double digits in June despite mounting tensions with Washington.

Exports climbed 11.3 percent year-over-year in dollar terms in June, faster than the expected rise of 9.5 percent. Imports advanced 14.1 percent from a year ago, well below economists’ forecast for a growth of 21.3 percent.

The trade surplus totaled $41.61 billion in the month versus the expected surplus of $27.72 billion.

“There will be challenges facing foreign trade with rising instabilities and uncertainties in the global environment,” said a Chinese customs agency report.

The euro remained sluggish after ECB minutes from the Governing Council’s June meeting showed broader support to keep interest rates lower, as long as needed, and to keep the end of QE unconditional on incoming data.

Asian stocks extended gains from the previous session as investors awaited earnings results from several leading U.S. financial companies later in the day for direction.

The dollar held steady against its major rivals while oil edged down and remained on track for a second weekly fall.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rallied as earnings optimism helped investors shrugged off trade war fears. Consumer price inflation saw its largest annual gain since February 2012, keeping the Fed on track to raise interest rates gradually.

The Dow and the S&P 500 rose about 0.9 percent while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 1.4 percent to reach a fresh record closing high.

European markets also finished solidly higher on Thursday as investors held out hopes for resumption of talks between the U.S. and China.

The pan-European Stoxx Europe 600 index gained 0.8 percent. The German DAX rose 0.6 percent, France’s CAC 40 index climbed 1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.8 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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