Global stocks extend gains as US data reassures

Data on US jobs creation, inflation and factory activity this week could play a key role in the Federal Reserve's decision-making on interest rates (Frederic J. BROWN)
Data on US jobs creation, inflation and factory activity this week could play a key role in the Federal Reserve's decision-making on interest rates (Frederic J. BROWN)

Stock markets extended a global rally Tuesday as the first of a series of data due out this week gave no reason for the US Federal Reserve to hike interest rates further.

Equities enjoyed a positive start to the week after Fed boss Jerome Powell's more moderate outlook for monetary policy fueled hopes that his campaign of raising interest rates to reduce high inflation is drawing to a close.

Fed policymakers have indicated they expect a softening of the red-hot labor market would be needed to bring inflation back down to its long-term target of two percent.

The US Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Summary (JOLTS) figure published Tuesday came in well below expectations at 8.8 million.

"The JOLTS number 'jolted' the market because that was way below expectations -- and last month got revised lower," Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers, told AFP.

"If you are the Fed and trying to get the labor market into a better equilibrium between demand for labor and supply of labor, this is a helpful number," he added.

The drop in US consumer confidence in August will also likely reassure Fed policymakers, who next meet on interest rates in September.

- More data to come -

After the Tuesday jobs surprise, investors are looking ahead to the release of the US central bank's preferred gauge of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, later this week.

Factory activity and non-farm payroll data for August are also due over the next seven days.

Wall Street stocks closed higher, with a tech rally fueling the Nasdaq to finish up 1.7 percent.

The dollar, which had been higher against major rivals ahead of Tuesday's data, slid lower.

In Europe, Paris and Frankfurt stocks rose, while London's FTSE 100 index jumped 1.7 percent, catching up with strong eurozone gains on Monday when trading in Britain paused for a public holiday.

In Asia, Hong Kong and Shanghai enjoyed big gains following fresh promises of help for China's economy -- but worries about its outlook continue to dampen sentiment, with authorities facing growing calls for bigger stimulus to revive growth.

Gas prices climbed on supply concerns caused by a looming production strike in Australia, and oil futures also rose.

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 34,852.67 points (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 1.5 percent at 4,497.63  (close)

New York - NASDAQ Composite: UP 1.7 percent at 13,943.76 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.7 percent at 7,464.99 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.9 percent at 15,930.88 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.7 percent at 7,373.43 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.8 percent at 4,326.47 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 32,226.97 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 2.0 percent at 18,484.03 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,135.89 (close)

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 145.87 yen from 146.50 yen on Monday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0884 from $1.0820

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2644 from $1.2600

Euro/pound: UP at 86.05 pence from 85.85 pence

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.8 percent at $84.09 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.8 percent at $80.74 per barrel