Global stock markets extended their rally Friday, as a recent rebound in commodities prices and reassuring comments from policy makers continued to soothe investors’ nerves.
The Stoxx Europe 600 was up 1.9% halfway through the session, on track for another week of gains, as rising oil and base metals prices boosted shares of energy and mining companies.
Stocks in Asia also ended higher after Wall Street rose for a second consecutive session. Futures pointed to a 0.5% opening gain for the S&P 500. Changes in futures don’t necessarily reflect market moves after the opening bell.
Data showed the fourth-quarter economic slowdown was less severe than previously estimated. Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced across the economy, advanced at a 1.0% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said Friday, better than the previous estimate of 0.7% growth and economists’ expectations of 0.4% growth.
Offering investors some respite, Brent crude oil was last up 4.1% at $36.73 a barrel, adding to gains of roughly 8% this week amid hopes major producers will limit output and after U.S. fourth quarter growth was revised higher.
Many investors expect gains in the price of oil to alleviate some pressure on the energy sector, its lenders and energy-dependent economies.
“The stock market has been reacting to oil,” said Bryce Doty, fixed income manager at Sit Investment associates. “Every time oil dips, it creates a flight to quality from stocks to bonds.”
Earlier, stocks in Asia ended mostly higher as leaders from the Group of 20 industrialized nations met in Shanghai. China’s top central banker sought to reassure the country’s trading partners that Beijing won’t drastically weaken its currency and that it has sufficient tools to support the economy.
“China won’t use competitive devaluation to enhance export competitiveness,” said Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China at a news conference.
The Shanghai Composite Index ended up 1% following a plunge in the previous session, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2.5% and Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average ended 0.3% higher.
Still, investors remained cautious following steep losses earlier in the year, citing persistent concerns around commodity prices, lackluster earnings and weakening expectations for global growth.
“I think anything here is a dead cat bounce,” said Daniel Weston, chief investment officer at Aimed Capital. “We have growth weakness and disinflationary pressures,” he said.
Attention is now focused on how central banks will respond to sluggish global growth and a tightening of financial conditions.
Recent comments from Federal Reserve officials have eroded expectations for further interest rate increases this year after the central bank raised benchmark interest rates in December.
Still, “I don’t think there will be a bullish move with conviction until the market realizes the Fed is a lot more dovish than they are saying right now,” Mr. Weston added.
Meanwhile, Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said it is “technically possible” for the central bank to push a key deposit rate further into negative territory, although he suggested he isn’t under pressure to make more cuts soon. Data Friday showed inflation in Japan returned to zero in January.
In currencies, the dollar gained against the euro and yen after U.S. growth was revised higher.
The dollar was last up 0.3% against the yen at Yen113.3890. The euro was down 0.6% against the dollar at $1.10975 after data also showed eurozone businesses became more negative on their prospects for a second consecutive month.
In metals, gold was 0.8% lower at $1,229 a troy ounce, while copper futures in London gained 3.2% to reach $4,757 a metric ton, boosting Europe’s basic resources sector.
In corporate news, Royal Bank of Scotland posted its eighth consecutive annual loss and delayed the prospects of any dividend payouts. Shares fell as much as 10%.
–Georgi Kantchev, Lingling Wei and Takashi Nakamichi contributed to this article
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This article originally appeared at TradeQQ.