China shares jumped on Tuesday on stimulus hopes, after earlier data showed the economy growing by only 6.8% y/y, lower than the 6.9% expected and the slowest since 2009. Industrial production similarly missed forecasts, rising only 5.9% y/y in December. Nonetheless, China's shanghai index closed 3.22% higher as investors hoped for strong monetary easing measures by the the central bank, in addition to fiscal stimulus from the government.
Asian shares rose in tandem, with Japan's Nikkei rising 0.55% to come back above the 17,000 mark again. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index added 44 points, or a strong 0.91% to 4,903. South Korea's KOSPI climbed 0.60%, while India's Nifty added 1.21%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng traded 1.80% higher. Wall Street was shut yesterday for Martin Luther King's holiday, but is expected to open higher today after a brutal hammering last week, losing 2-3% on Friday alone.
Oil prices kept on their tentative recovery, attempting to pull away from 12-year low plumbed yesterday, with Brent crude futures adding a handsome 80 cents, or 2.90% to fetch $29.38 a barrel. U.S. crude futures regained their above-$30 status, trading 33 cents higher, or 1.09% at $30.70 a barrel. Crude prices were hammered at the beginning of the week due to the lifting of international sanctions on Iran, opening the door for more oil exports in an already full market.
Copper traders cheered China's surge, despite the weak data,with the industrial metal's futures surging 2.44% to $1.989 a pound. Silver futures tagged along, advancing 20 cents, or 1.43% to trade back above the $14 level at $14.09 an ounce. Gold however lagged behind, trading flat at $1,089.90 an ounce.
Dollar was largely flat, inching up 0.04% versus a basket of rivals to 99.22. The greenback got 0.13% from the euro to trade at 1.0877, while rallying 0.40% versus yen to 117.82.
Yen lost its value as a safe haven due to China stabilization, with the Japanese currency slipping 0.30% against the euro to 128.17, while tumbling 0.88% against the insurgent sterling to trade at 168.58.
Slated for release today, the Eurozone's final CPI for December, expected at 0.2% y/y, same as the preliminary result, while core CPI is forecast at 0.9% y/y. A surprising result on the downside would put more pressure on the ECB to unleash more stimulus, dragging the euro downwards.