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Global Stocks Gain on Economic Data    03/31 06:46

   Global stock markets mostly climbed Tuesday, boosted by positive data from 
major economies and hopes for stimulus in China.

   TOKYO (AP) --- Global stock markets mostly climbed Tuesday, boosted by 
positive data from major economies and hopes for stimulus in China.

   KEEPING SCORE: France's CAC 40 added 0.2 percent to 5,092.19 in early 
trading and Germany's DAX edged up 0.1 percent to 12,095.24. But Britain's FTSE 
100 fell 0.1 percent to 6,883.22. U.S. shares were set to drift somewhat lower. 
S&P 500 futures dipped 0.2 percent to 2,072.10.

   GLOBAL DATA: Markets are being cheered by positive data from the U.S. and 
Europe, and are expecting generally favorable company earnings reports as well. 
A European Commission survey has shown economic sentiment at its highest since 
July 2011. Consumer spending edged up in the U.S. in February following two 
straight monthly declines, and consumers' incomes rose a solid 0.4 percent.

   CHINA FACTOR: In China, hopes are growing for more economic stimulus. Zhou 
Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, indicated last weekend that 
the world's No. 2 economy had slowed "a bit too sharply," suggesting additional 
government measures might be coming.

   ANALYST TAKE: "The shift to positive sentiment started with comments from 
China over the weekend that indicated further central bank stimulus is 
imminent," Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said in 
a commentary. "Investors were in a 'on the one hand, on the other hand' mode, 
responding positively to good economic news and comforted by the potential for 
ECB and PBoC action should the scenario sour."

   ASIA'S DAY: Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2 percent to 24,900.89 while 
China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 1 percent to 3,747.90 after surging 
the day before. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 1.1 percent to 19,206.99. South 
Korea's Kospi advanced 0.5 percent to 2,041.03 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 
0.8 percent to 5,891.50. Markets in Southeast Asia mostly rose.

   ENERGY: U.S. oil was down $1.12 to $47.62 a barrel in electronic trading on 
the New York Mercantile Exchange. The futures contract fell 19 cents to $48.68 
a barrel on Monday. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 
$1.15 to $55.14 a barrel in London.

   CURRENCIES: The euro fell to $1.0736 from $1.0825 the previous session. The 
dollar rose to 120.13 yen from 120.06 yen.


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