GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares up on China growth relief; dollar slips

Wed Apr 16, 2014 12:59pm EDT

* China GDP grows 7.4 pct, slightly ahead of forecasts
    * European shares rebound, Wall Street rallies, Yahoo shines
    * Oil rises close to $110 on mounting Ukraine tension

 (Adds close of European bond and stock markets, Yellen comment)
    By Herbert Lash
    NEW YORK, April 16 (Reuters) - Global equity markets
advanced broadly on Wednesday after China reported growth that
beat expectations, providing relief to investors worried about
the Chinese economy, while the dollar slid on the growing view
the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates lower than normal
for a few years.
    Fed Chair Janet Yellen told the Economic Club of New York
that achieving the U.S. central bank's economic goals "will
likely require low real interest rates for some time," a policy
view she said was shared broadly across many advanced economies.
    Wall Street rallied for a third straight day. The Nasdaq
Composite was up 3.3 percent from its intraday low of 3,946.03
on Tuesday, which was a whisker away from a 20 percent
correction.
    China's economy grew 7.4 percent in the first quarter from a
year earlier, topping forecasts of 7.3 percent. There had been
speculation that growth would be closer to 7 percent after a
string of recent soft numbers.  
 
    The relief rippled through Asian markets then spread to
Europe and Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei ended up 3
percent, its biggest gain since February. 
    MSCI's all-country world index rose 0.92
percent, while the FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading
European shares closed up 1.2 percent at 1,322.51 points. Yet
many traders pegged the gain as a technical rebound after a 1
percent decline in the previous session. 
    Earlier this month the European index hit a near six-year
high, a rally that has been halted by worries over the crisis in
Ukraine as well as worries about China, the world's second
biggest economy.
    "There is a lot of concern about Chinese growth this year so
there is some relief in the GDP number," said Jim Russell,
senior investment strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in
Cincinnati. "We think that is influencing the market today."
    On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose
130.76 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,393.32. The S&P 500 
gained 14.94 points, or 0.81 percent, to 1,857.92, and the
Nasdaq Composite added 41.79 points, or 1.04 percent, to
4,075.95.
    Yahoo was the leading percentage gainer on the S&P
500 as investors focused on the company's 24 percent stake in
Chinese internet company Alibaba Group Holding Inc IPO-ALIB.N,
which reported a surge in quarterly revenue growth in the last
quarter of 2013. Yahoo shares jumped 6.5 percent to $36.44.
     
    Google and IBM will report quarterly
results later on Wednesday. 
    The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.3826. There were also
more bond gains for former trouble spots Italy, Spain, Portugal
and Greece. 
    The 10-year U.S. Treasury note slipped 3/32 of a point in
price, boosting its yield to 2.6409 percent, as the growth in
China reduced demand for safe-haven government bonds. 

   
    But mounting risks in Ukraine after Russia declared the
country to be on the brink of civil war and Kiev said an
"anti-terrorist operation" against pro-Moscow separatists was
under way helped drive up oil prices. 
    Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russian rebels staged
rival shows of force in eastern Ukraine on Wednesday, though
hopes remained that talks in Switzerland on Thursday between
Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and EU could cool the situation.
    Global oil prices rose close to $110 a barrel, but gave up
some gains after an unexpectedly large build in crude stocks in
the United States, the world's largest consumer of oil. 
    Brent crude for June delivery rose by a dollar
earlier in the session but pared gains to trade 50 cents higher
at $109.86 a barrel. 
    U.S. crude for May delivery also rose more than $1,
but pared gains immediately after closely watched data form the
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) to trade down 32
cents at $103.43 a barrel.
    

 (Additional reporting by Marc Jones in London; Editing by
Meredith Mazzilli and Leslie Adler)
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