Stocks gain on China and US Data


Asian stocks rallied to a 17 month high alongside UK futures as data from China’s services industry and the US’s manufacturing data fueled market sentiment on overall global recovery. The Yen, which was trading weaker during the beginning of the week managed to strengthen.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index outside Japan gained 0.3% while the FTSE added 0.2% during yesterday’s close. China’s services industry saw the fastest pace of expansion in December. The non-manufacturing PMI increased to 56.1 in December, up from November’s 55.6 indicating continued expansion in the sector.

Commodities and stocks rallied after US lawmakers passed the bill making the bush era tax cuts permanent. Better than expected factory output data from the US fueled optimism as well. The ISM factory index rose to 50.7 in December, up from November’s 49.5.

While the fiscal cliff issues might have been resolved temporarily, the next big crisis is shaping up to be the US Debt ceiling. It is rumored that the Treasury department would exhaust its “extraordinary” measures by February or mid-March as the country reached its debt ceiling of $16.4 trillion in December last year.

The IMF noted in a statement yesterday that the economic recovery in the US would be derailed if the fiscal cliff is not resolved. It also noted that the US should raise its debt ceiling substantially, clearly setting the tone for the next potential market event.

Latest data from ADP noted that the US managed to add 140k new workers in December, up from November’s 118k. The ADP job report will be followed by the US Non Farm Payroll data due to be out tomorrow.

Australia’s ASX gained 0.7% while markets in Japan and China will re-open tomorrow. The Japanese Yen had earlier touched 87.36 to the Dollar during the beginning of the week. BoJ deputy Governor Kiyohiko Nishimura is slated to speak tomorrow ahead of the BoJ’s monetary policy meeting due on January 21 – 22nd.

Japanese Premier, Shinzo Abe in his New Year address said that the country should embark on some bold measures to break out of currency appreciation and deflation.

From Europe, London is set to release the home prices and construction data while Germany is due to publish the jobless figures today.