Wall St up as JP Morgan, China lift mood

Specialist Charles Boeddinghaus works with traders at the post that handles Allergan, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. File photo / AP
Specialist Charles Boeddinghaus works with traders at the post that handles Allergan, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. File photo / AP

Wall Street gained overnight, bolstered by better-than-expected results from JPMorgan Chase, while trade data from China fuelled commodities including copper and iron ore amid hopes the juggernaut economy is in better shape than thought.

Chinese exports denominated in US dollars jumped a larger-than-expected 11.5 percent year-on-year in March, while imports shrank 7.6 percent.

"The global market reaction is a vote of confidence in the China economy and commodities in general," Bill Nelson, senior economist for St Louis-based Doane Advisory Services, told Bloomberg.

Wall Street moved higher, as did stocks in Europe and Asia. In 1.22pm New York trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.8 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1 percent. In 1.07pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.6 percent.
Gains in shares of JPMorgan Chase and those of Goldman Sachs, up 4.2 percent and 3.2 percent respectively, led the climb in the Dow.

JPMorgan reported higher-than-expected revenue and profit, bolstering bank stocks amid optimism the industry's latest earnings might not prove as dire as feared.
To be sure, some analysts say JPMorgan's results may prove the sector's exception this season.

"We expect [the] results will be best in class and may be a rare example of a bank stock this quarter where consensus estimates could remain steady post results," Goldman Sachs analyst Richard Ramsden wrote in a client note, Reuters reported.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the day with a 2.5 percent increase from the previous close, as bank and mining stocks rose.

The UK's FTSE 100 Index climbed 1.7 percent, Germany's DAX Index rallied 2.7 percent, while France's CAC 40 Index jumped 3.3 percent.

Shares of Premier Foods plunged after McCormick, a US spice maker, said that it no longer plans to buy the UK maker of brands including Mr Kipling.

"McCormick has, after careful consideration, concluded that it would not be able to propose a price that would be recommended by the board of Premier Foods while also delivering appropriate returns for McCormick shareholders," McCormick said in a statement. "Accordingly, McCormick has withdrawn its proposal to acquire Premier Foods."

Shares of Premier Foods closed 26.8 percent lower in London. Shares of McCormick were 1.8 percent lower in early afternoon trading in New York.

"The challenge now for Premier management is to deliver for its shareholders the sort of value McCormick was offering," Investec analyst Nicola Mallard told Reuters.

Oil slid after Reuters reported that Russian oil minister Alexander Novak told a closed-door briefing that a deal on an oil output freeze scheduled to be signed this month in Doha will be loosely framed with few detailed commitments.

- BusinessDesk

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