* World shares rise as U.S., Chinese trade data beats
* Yen gains sharply, Draghi's comments weigh on euro
* Oil rises toward $119 a barrel on China data, Mideast
By Herbert Lash and Wanfeng Zhou
NEW YORK, Feb 8 Strong economic data lifted
global equity markets and drove the S&P 500 to a five-year high
on Friday, while the yen jumped after Japan's finance minister
said the currency's recent drop had gone too far, too fast.
Brent crude oil rose to a nine-month high near $119 a barrel
and copper prices advanced for the first time in four days as
the robust Chinese data signaled improving global growth
prospects and boosted the outlook for commodities demand.
China's exports and imports surged and new lending soared in
January, while German data showed a 2012 surplus that was the
nation's second-highest in more than 60 years, an indication of
the underlying strength of Europe's biggest economy.
A report showing the U.S. trade gap fell to its narrowest in
nearly three years in December helped support stock and
commodity markets. The narrower trade gap suggested the U.S.
economy did much better in the fourth quarter than initially
Wall street stocks edged higher, but gains were checked as
investors awaited strong catalysts to push the market up more.
"We are going to have this churn and this consolidation,
which actually isn't a bad thing - it's actually good the market
isn't being so volatile and is actually consolidating because it
is building a base," said Ken Polcari, Director of the NYSE
floor division at O'Neil Securities in New York.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 49.59 points,
or 0.36 percent, at 13,993.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index
was up 7.54 points, or 0.50 percent, at 1,516.93. The
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 28.66 points, or 0.91
percent, at 3,193.80.
MSCI's all-country world equity index rose
0.4 percent to 355.49, while shares in Europe rebounded nearly
1.2 percent after a fall on Thursday wiped out the year's gains.
The yen, which fell to its low against the euro since April
2010 and the lowest against the dollar since May 2010 on
Wednesday, got a boost from Finance Minister Taro Aso's comments
that the currency's slide from 78 to 90 per dollar was steeper
Doubts also rose on whether the next governor of the Bank of
Japan will ease policy aggressively after a Reuters report said
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces opposition from within
his own cabinet and financial bureaucrats to appoint a new BoJ
governor who will pursue aggressive easing policies.
The dollar fell 1 percent against the yen to 92.66 yen
. The euro lost 1.1 percent to 124.01 yen.
Against the dollar, the euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.3379
Comments from European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on
Thursday that the exchange rate is important for growth and
price stability were perceived by investors as a sign the bank
is concerned about the euro's recent advance and weighed on the
"Central bank and government officials from around the world
have given FX markets the gift of volatility this year," said
Win Thin, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman
in New York.
"Yesterday, it was ECB President Draghi's second press
conference in a row that caught markets by surprise. Today, it
was Japan Finance Minister Aso's turn, as he apparently told
reporters that the recent pace of yen weakness has been too
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 3/32, the
yield at 1.9679 percent. Prices erased some of
Thursday's gains after stocks jumped and as investors prepared
for $72 billion in new supply next week.
Brent gained $1.87 to $119.09 a barrel, and U.S.
crude futures rose 46 cents to $96.29.
"Global oil demand has surprised to the upside in recent
months, consistent with the pick-up in economic activity,"
Goldman Sachs analysts said in a research note.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
$8,245 a tonne after hitting a session high of $8,253.