Global stocks rise after surprise U.S. data, bonds fall

Thu Apr 25, 2013 4:23pm EDT
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By Herbert Lash

NEW YORK (Reuters) - World stock markets rose and bond prices fell on Thursday as data indicated the U.S. labor market remains resilient despite recent signs of slower growth, while earnings that are beating lowered expectations helped buoy investor sentiment.

Wall Street opened higher, following gains in Europe, where markets were lifted on growing expectations that the European Central Bank will soon cut interest rates.

A report from the U.S. Labor Department said the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by a surprisingly large 16,000.

The report appeared to counter several weeks of signs that U.S. economic activity softened in March and early April, a phenomenon that economists have dubbed the spring swoon because it has occurred the past two years.

Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell as much as 7/32 in price in reaction to the jobless claims figures. They last traded 2/32 lower to yield 1.7097 percent.

Recent weak global economic data, including record-high jobless figures from Spain on Thursday, has sparked expectations of more stimulus from central banks.

"Overall, investors see the potential for new measures and the distortion of global valuations as a reason to hold dogmatically onto their equities," said Guy Foster, head of portfolio strategy at Brewin Dolphin in London.

"Shares are seen as a yield asset class with risks skewed to the upside. Bonds have lost their appeal for the opposite reason."   Continued...

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, April 22, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid