* Shares set for longest winning run since Sept
* China Jan exports and imports well above forecasts
* U.S. House passes debt limit, diminishes danger of default
* Sterling rises as BoE hints at rate hike in 2015
By Francesco Canepa
LONDON, Feb 12 Global shares were on track to
post their longest winning run in five months as they rose for a
sixth straight day on Wednesday, boosted by upbeat trade data
from China and a U.S. House deal extending the federal borrowing
Chinese exports and imports outperformed expectations in
January by a wide margin, easing fears that the world's second
largest economy is mired in a worsening slowdown and reviving
appetite for emerging market assets that had been battered in
The cheer spread to Europe, one of China's largest trading
partners, where the FTSEurofirst 300 index rose 0.6
percent. Mini futures on the S&P 500 index were pointing
to a flat start on Wall Street after Tuesday's rally.
MSCI's index of emerging market stocks added 0.9 percent
, extending its bounce from five-month lows hit earlier
this month. The Australian dollar rose to a one-month
high on the prospect of stronger demand from China, Australia's
largest export market.
The broader MSCI All-Country World Index was
up 0.3 percent in its longest winning streak since September.
"Our analysis suggests that emerging market equities are
discounting an outcome substantially below current consensus
forecasts, so of course a better-than-expected outcome is going
to help the case," said Ian Scott, a global equity strategist at
Barclays in London.
Investors also took heart from a strong share market
performance in the United States, where Congress agreed to
advance legislation extending U.S. borrowing authority and the
Federal Reserve's new chief pledged to keep interest rates at
ultra-low levels for longer.
By contrast, the Bank of England indicated that interest
rates may need to rise in just over a year and raised its growth
forecasts, sending the pound up against the dollar and the euro
"Recovery (in Britain) has gained momentum," said Neil
Jones, head of hedge fund FX sales at Mizuho. "The market likes
this and is starting to reinvest the pound sold off in January."
A speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi
will also be in the spotlight on Wednesday.
The calmer mood in markets was reflected in the VSTOXX index
of euro zone equity volatility falling for a sixth day
to lows not seen since late January.
Among commodities, spot gold snapped a three-day
winning streak, giving back some of its sharp overnight gains as
stocks rallied. But it was still not far from a three-month high
of $1,293.44 hit on Tuesday.
Brent crude edged higher toward $109 a barrel and
London copper climbed, reversing losses from the previous
session and moving away from a two-month low of $7,016 touched
on Feb. 4.