* World shares rise as U.S., China trade data beats
* Yen gains sharply, Draghi's comments weigh on euro
* Oil rises toward $119 a barrel, copper advances
By Herbert Lash and Wanfeng Zhou
NEW YORK, Feb 8 Strong economic data buoyed
global equity markets on Friday, lifting the Nasdaq to a 12-year
closing high and the S&P 500 to a five-year high, while the yen
soared after Japan's finance minister said its 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
robust Chinese data boosted the outlook for commodities demand.
Data showing stronger international trade in China and
Germany, and a report indicating the U.S. trade deficit had
narrowed in December, pointed to improving global growth
"That may have sent a ray of optimism," said Fred Dickson,
chief market strategist at D.A. Davidson & Co in Lake Oswego,
MSCI's all-country world equity index rose
0.5 percent to 355.67, while shares in Europe rebounded 1.2
percent after a fall on Thursday wiped out the year's gains.
U.S. stocks closed higher. The benchmark S&P 500, up more
than 6 percent for the year, posted six straight weeks of gains
for the first time since August.
The Dow Jones industrial average ended up 48.92
points, or 0.35 percent, at 13,992.97. The Standard & Poor's 500
Index closed up 8.54 points, or 0.57 percent, at
1,517.93. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 28.74
points, or 0.91 percent, to 3,193.87.
But an advance has been tougher in recent days as investors
await incentives to drive the index further upward.
"The rally is definitely slowing down. We might see a record
but we do need a bit of correction before going there," said
Randy Frederick, director of trading and derivatives at Charles
Schwab. "We've been in this 1,516 level (for the S&P 500) for
the sixth straight session and need to break above to really
The yen, which fell to the lowest 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 to 92.69 yen. The euro lost
1.2 percent to 123.90 yen, and against the dollar, the
euro slipped 0.2 percent to $1.3364.
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 erased early losses
to trade little changed, the yield at 1.96 percent
as many traders squared positions before heading home as a
blizzard moved into the northeastern United States.
Brent gained $1.66 to settle at $118.90 a barrel,
but U.S. crude futures fell 11 cents to settle $95.72.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
$8,245 a tonne after hitting a session high of $8,253.
Gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,668.11 an ounce as gains
in U.S. equities and encouraging international trade data dented