Asian markets posted moderate gains after China reported GDP which was in line with forecasts, although the 7.6% growth rate was the slowest since March 2009. The Nikkei inched up 4 points to 8724, the ASX 200 rose .4% to 4082, and the Hang Seng gained .4% to 19093. South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.5% to 1813, led by a 4.4% advance in Samsung Electronics shares. The Shanghai Composite closed flat at 2186.
European investors were far more impressed with the Chinese data. The Dax surged 2.2% to 6557, the CAC40 climbed 1.5% to 3181, and the FTSE gained 1% to 5666. Moody’s cut Italy’s credit rating to 2 notches above junk, and warned it may make further cuts in the future.
US stocks rallied as well, snapping a 6-day losing streak. The Dow bounced 204 points to 12777, the S&P 500 jumped 1.7% to 1357, and the Nasdaq advanced 1.5% to 2908.
Lexmark shares tumbled 16.3% to 20.36 after cutting its outlook for the second quarter.
Treasuries and Commodities
Bonds closed modestly lower as cash poured into equities. 10-year notes slipped 4/32 to yield 1.49%, and 30-year notes dipped 8/32 to yield 2.57%.
Metals rallied, led by copper, which jumped 2.6% to 3.5005. Gold jumped 1.7% to 1592, and silver added .8% to 27.369.
Crude oil advanced 1.2% to 87.10, and gasoline rose .4% to 2.8161.
The Australian Dollar, China’s main supplier of metals, jumped 1% to 1.0232, as investors were relieved over China’s GDP data. The Pound climbed .9% to 1.5573, and the Canadian Dollar rose .5% to 1.0141. The Euro ticked up .4% to 1.2248, and the Swiss Franc rose .3% to .9809. The Yen closed flat at 79.27.
PPI unexpectedly rose .1% last month, versus forecasts for a .5% drop in prices. Consumer sentiment dropped to 72.0 from 73.2.
Monday’s reports will include retail sale, the Empire State manufacturing index, and business inventories.
Earnings are expected from Cintas, Citigroup, and United Continental.