* Surge in Chinese exports boosts confidence in growth
* World stocks rise, European markets more cautious
* Oil gains on China demand, Saudi output cuts
* Successful Spanish debt sale strengthens euro
* Spain's 10-year bonds under 5 pct, lowest since 2010
By Richard Hubbard
LONDON, Jan 10 World shares, copper, oil and
growth-linked currencies rose on Thursday as
stronger-than-expected Chinese exports raised hopes of a more
robust recovery in the global economy this year.
The export rebound in the world's second largest economy
also lifted U.S. stock index futures, pointing to a firmer open
on Wall Street and earlier boosted Asian markets, sending the
MSCI world equity index up 0.3 percent.
"The market's more positive and it owes a lot of that to the
Chinese economic data," said Art Hogan, managing director of
Lazard Capital Markets in New York, adding that the success of a
Spanish bond auction had also helped.
Spain's first debt sale of 2013 raised more money than
expected at a lower borrowing cost than in a previous auction,
sending benchmark Spanish bond yields to 10-month lows.
News of a big cut in oil production by Saudi Arabia, the
world's largest oil exporter, added to gains in Brent crude
prices, which hit a 12-week high of $113.29 a barrel.
However, the decision by European Central Bank to hold
interest rates unchanged, as expected, left European equities
unmoved near two-year highs.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was steady
at 1,168.80 points, with London's FTSE 100, Paris's
CAC-40 and Frankfurt's DAX were between 0.1 and
0.3 percent higher.
China surprised most observers by reporting its exports had
rebounded sharply in December to a seven-month high, with
imports growing at double the expected rate. However, the data
showed demand for its goods from the United States and Europe
A broad measure of Chinese credit growth was also found to
have risen strongly, making it likely that the economy will be
shown to have expanded by around 7.8 percent in 2012 when fourth
quarter GDP data come out next week.
China's GDP growth touched a 3-1/2-year low of 7.4 percent
between July and September last year.
The strength of imports revealed in the data stoked hopes of
greater demand across the commodity markets, lifting copper,
iron ore and oil prices.
"Risk is back on after the China data," said Carsten
Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.
"General market sentiment is much more positive, with hopes of
better growth pushing up most markets."
London copper was up 0.85 percent at $8,150 a tonne
while U.S. crude futures rose 1.4 percent to $94.45 a
barrel and Brent futures added one percent to $112.90.
The oil market extended its gains during the day when an
industry source familiar with Saudi oil policy told Reuters the
exporter had cut production by around 700,000 barrels a day
(bpd) over the last two months of last year.
The economic report from China, Australia's largest trading
partner, sent the Aussie dollar to a three-week high of $1.0568
and contributed to further falls in the Japanese yen.
The yen has been weakening on expectations of massive fiscal
spending and aggressive monetary easing in the coming weeks
advocated by the new government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The dollar was up 0.5 percent to 88.28 yen, inching
closer to its highest since July 2010 of 88.48 reached on
Friday. The euro was also up 0.9 percent to 115.80
yen. Last week it hit 115.99 yen, its highest since July 2011.
SPANISH STRAINS EASE
The euro gained an extra boost after Spain's debt auction
raised 5.8 billion euros.
Most of the demand was for a bond maturing in 2015 that
would be covered by an ECB bond-buying programme if Spain were
to apply for international aid, though the success of the
auction has probably pushed back the timing of any request.
"Against this backdrop the Spanish government will be in no
rush to request external assistance," said Nick
Stamenkovic, macro strategist at RIA Capital Markets, who added
that he still expects Madrid to call for help by mid-2013.
The euro rose 0.4 percent to its highest level of the day of
$1.3112, while yields on 10-year Spanish bonds fell below
5 percent to reach a 10-month low of 4.97 percent.