World stocks recover after strong US data

Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — Global stock markets recovered Monday as strong economic and corporate news from the U.S. offset concerns about the crisis in Ukraine.

A 1.1 percent rise in U.S. retail sales in March — the biggest in 18 months — boosted sentiment, as did better-than-expected earnings from Citigroup bank.

Investors had earlier been cautious, selling off stocks in Europe, on concern of a flare-up in Ukraine's crisis. Ukrainian and Western officials have accused Moscow of instigating a pro-Russian insurgency in eastern Ukraine. That raised the prospect of more sanctions against Russia, possibly affecting the valuable energy trade.

In Europe, Germany's DAX closed 0.3 percent higher at 9,339.17 and France's CAC-40 gained 0.4 percent to 4,384.56. Separate data earlier showed industrial production rose 0.2 percent in the eurozone in February. Though the rise was up from no growth in January, it is still relatively weak.

Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 6,583.76. Russia's MICEX index failed to recover, dropping 1.3 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.8 percent to 16,156.54 while the broader S&P 500 rose 0.9 percent to 1,832.

Investors have been cautious for the past week in the U.S. due to suggestions that technology stocks were overvalued. The tech-heavy Nasdaq index was up 1.1 percent on Monday.

Earlier, in Asia, Tokyo's Nikkei 225 shed 0.4 percent to close at 13,910.16 and Sydney's S&P/ASX 200 tumbled 1.3 percent to 5,358.9. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index was little changed at 2,131.54 while Seoul's Kospi held steady at 1,997.02.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was the region's only major gainer, rising 0.2 percent to 23,048.40.

In other markets, benchmark U.S. crude for May delivery was up 10 cents to $103.84. The dollar rose to 101.83 yen from 101.63 yen late Friday. The euro fell to $1.3823 from $1.3852.

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