GLOBAL MARKETS-China, German data push shares to 5-year highs
* Major equity indexes hit five-year peaks, crude rises * China reports stronger-than-forecast April trade data * March German industrial output also beats estimates * Euro rises on German data, copper gains on China By Herbert Lash NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - Global equity markets and the euro rose on Wednesday as strong Chinese trade data and signs that Germany may escape a sharp slowdown pushed shares to five-year highs worldwide, even as cracks appeared in this year's heady bull run. Stocks on Wall Street opened lower, then mostly pushed into the black, as did crude oil, which rebounded after prices earlier in the session could not shake off persistent concerns about global demand. China's daily crude imports in April rose 3.7 percent from a year ago, customs data showed, while German industrial output unexpectedly jumped in March, fanning hopes that Europe's top economy is gaining traction. The equity market rally showed few signs of letting up as huge injections of liquidity from leading central banks to boost their economies outweighed any doubts about the Chinese data. Though equities continue to move higher, with analysts citing the attractive valuation of stocks relative to other assets, the magnitude and speed of the rally has spurred talk of a pullback. "We've seen an amazing rally, and this is just a brief cooling-off period after an historic day," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma. "While I expect a modest pullback over the next couple of months, that will be followed by even more gains." Adam Hewison, chief executive of Annapolis, Maryland-based INO Inc, which serves traders in futures and options markets, said, "we're very close to an interim top." MSCI's all-country world equity index, which tracks stocks in 45 countries, rose 0.56 percent to a five-year high as top European shares followed their Asian counterparts. The FTSEurofirst 300, which reached its own five-year peak on Tuesday, was up 0.5 percent to 1,227.03. Wall Street pared earlier losses to trade mixed. The Dow Jones industrial average was down 13.63 points, or 0.09 percent, at 15,042.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.58 points, or 0.04 percent, at 1,626.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 4.58 points, or 0.13 percent, at 3,401.21. The euro advanced against the dollar for a second straight session as an unexpected rise in German industrial output pared back prospects of a near-term interest rate cut in the euro zone. The euro up 0.6 percent to $1.3158 as the safe-haven dollar softened and markets began to question whether the ECB would need to cut rates again. Copper - one of the commodities tied most closely to global growth prospects - jumped 2.8 percent to a three-week high of $7,467 a tonne. Brent rose 20 cents to $104.60 a barrel, while U.S. oil rose 72 cents to $96.34. U.S. Treasuries prices turned higher, erasing earlier losses. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was up 1/32 in price to yield 1.7743 percent.
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