Global shares gain ahead of data

City A.M. Reporter
Asian shares rose today as investors hunted for bargains while waiting for more economic figures from Europe and the United States later in the day, after recent data showed the Eurozone’s debt woes were eroding business activity globally.

Relative optimism persisted to underpin investor sentiment as deteriorating global growth prospects will keep expectations firmly in place for further stimulus steps from policymakers seeking to bolster growth.

After worrying Chinese trade data on Friday, and yesterday’s report showing a slowdown in Japan's economy, investors are now eyeing the Eurozone's second-quarter gross domestic product, which is expected to contract, as well as July US retail sales and consumer prices due later today.

"As long as we have a mixed bag of data, expectations for more stimulus will remain intact and keep supporting markets," said Hirokazu Yuihama, a senior strategist at Daiwa Securities.

"I think there is a growing sense that the US economy is resilient. Also, with European leaders soon returning from their summer holidays, hopes remain for them to start working on steps towards next month," he added.

European stocks are likely to rise, after taking their sharpest fall in more than a week in thin volume yesterday, and as a 0.1 per cent gain in US stock futures signalled a firm Wall Street start. Financial spreadbetters called the main indexes in London, Paris and Frankfurt to open up as much as 0.5 per cent.