* Surge in Chinese exports spurs optimism on global growth
* Euro firm after ECB holds rates, strong Spanish debt sale
* German debt yields rise as Draghi hints no imminent rate
* Oil gains on China demand, Saudi output cuts
NEW YORK, Jan 10 World stock prices rose to an
eight-month high on Thursday and oil prices climbed as news of
stronger-than-expected Chinese exports raised hopes of a more
robust recovery for the global economy this year.
The euro rose after the European Central Bank left interest
rates unchanged and ECB President Mario Draghi offered no hints
that more policy easing will be coming soon.
The ECB's policy restraint spurred selling in safe-haven
German government debt and stoked bids for gold.
"The market's more positive and it owes a lot of that to the
Chinese economic data," said Art Hogan, managing director of
Lazard Capital Markets in New York, adding that the success of a
Spanish bond auction also helped.
Spain's first debt sale of 2013 raised more money than
expected at a lower borrowing cost than in a previous auction,
sending benchmark Spanish bond yields to 10-month lows.
The combination of an improved global economic outlook and
reduced worries about Spain's ability to finance its deficit fed
bids for world shares for a second day.
MSCI's broad world equity index was 0.6
percent higher at 349.03, its highest level since May.
Wall Street stocks opened higher. The Dow Jones industrial
average was up 46.94 points, or 0.35 percent, at
13,437.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 6.32
points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,467.34. The Nasdaq Composite Index
was up 8.55 points, or 0.28 percent, at 3,114.36.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index edged up 0.03
percent at 1,168.30 points.
CHINA DATA RAISE HOPES
China surprised most observers by reporting its exports
rebounded sharply in December to a seven-month high, with
imports growing at double the expected rate. However, the data
showed demand for Chinese goods in the United States and Europe
A broad measure of Chinese credit growth was also found to
have risen strongly, making it likely that the economy will be
shown to have expanded by around 7.8 percent in 2012 when fourth
quarter GDP data come out next week.
China's GDP growth touched a 3-1/2-year low of 7.4 percent
between July and September last year.
The strength of imports revealed in the data stoked hopes of
greater demand for commodities, lifting copper and oil prices.
"Risk is back on after the China data," said Carsten
Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
"General market sentiment is much more positive, with hopes of
better growth pushing up most markets."
News of a big 700,000 barrels-per-day cut in oil production
over the last two months of last year by Saudi Arabia, the
world's largest oil exporter, added to gains in Brent crude
prices, which hit a 12-week high of $113.29 a barrel.
U.S. crude futures rose 1 percent to $94.05 a barrel,
while London copper was up 0.8 percent at $8,145 a
In the currency market, the euro gained an extra boost after
Spain's debt auction raised 5.8 billion euros.
Most of the demand was for a bond maturing in 2015 that
would be covered by an ECB bond-buying program if Spain were to
apply for international aid, though the success of the auction
has probably delayed the timing of any request.
The euro rose 1.2 percent at $1.3212, while yields on
10-year Spanish bonds fell below 5 percent to reach a 10-month
low of 4.908 percent.
Meanwhile, the yield on German 10-year government debt
rose to 1.562 percent, its highest level since late