LONDON — Thai stocks led global markets higher Friday as investors were reassured by signs of a smooth succession following the death of the country’s long-reigning king. Elsewhere, sentiment was buoyed by higher-than-expected Chinese inflation figures that eased worries over the world’s No. 2 economy.
KEEPING SCORE: In Europe, France’s CAC 40 jumped 1.9 percent to 4,487 while Germany’s DAX rose 1.6 percent to 10,576. Britain’s FTSE 100 advanced 0.9 percent to 7,037. U.S. stocks were poised to rise, with Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures up 0.4 percent.
CHINA INFLATION: Consumer prices in China rose 1.9 percent last month, higher than the 1.6 percent forecast by analysts in a FactSet survey. The numbers suggest consumer demand is starting to pick up. Another gauge of inflation released by China’s statistics bureau, the producer price index, turned positive for the first time since 2012. Analysts predicted say the data may mark the end of global deflation as Chinese factories pass rising costs on to overseas customers.
ANALYST TAKE: “European markets are once more taking their lead from overnight data out of China, with the world’s second largest economy finally breaking out of its deflationary spiral,” said Joshua Mahony, Market Analyst at IG.
US CONSUMER: How U.S. stocks actually open could hinge on September retail sales figures. All U.S. economic indicators are being viewed through the prism of whether the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the end of the year. At the start of 2016, the prevailing view in markets was that rates would rise but a raft of uncertainties, related to issues such as the China economic slowdown and Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, have stayed the Fed’s hand.
THAI RISE: After days of losses due to uncertainty over the king’s declining health, Thailand’s SET jumped 4.7 percent to 1,478.95. Investors saw little immediate fallout after the king’s death was announced late Thursday, with Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn expected to ascend the throne, although no coronation date has been set. The prime minister told the country in a televised address that to minimize disruptions, businesses, the stock market, tourist attractions and public transport would operate as usual on Friday.
OTHER ASIAN MARKETS: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 index added 0.5 percent to 16,856.37 and South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.4 percent to 2,022.66. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.9 percent to 23,233.31 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China edged up 0.1 percent to 3,063.81. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped slightly to 5,434.00.
CURRENCIES: The euro was down 0.5 percent at $1.10 while the dollar rose 0.6 percent to 104.29 yen.
ENERGY: Oil prices extended gains. Benchmark U.S. crude oil futures rose 46 cents to $50.84 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, the international standard, added 21 cents to $52.24 a barrel in London.