TOKYO - Global markets turned higher on Monday after Chinese shares surged on hopes for new stimulus measures.
KEEPING SCORE: U.S. shares recovered from recent losses, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 242 points, or 1.4 percent, to 17,615. The S&P 500 rose 27 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,104. The Nasdaq Composite rose 58 points, or 1.2 percent, to 5,102.
CHINA TRADE: China's trade figures shrank by unexpectedly wide margins in July, showing the world's second-largest economy faces weak demand both at home and abroad. Exports contracted by 8.3 percent over a year earlier, and imports were off by 8.1 percent. For the year to date, exports have dropped 14.6 percent and imports down by 0.8 percent. That increases pressure on Beijing to stimulate domestic growth and to avert politically sensitive job losses in export industries.
ASIA'S DAY: The Shanghai Composite Index jumped nearly 5 percent to 3,928.42. That continues a pattern of volatile trading since a sizzling rally peaked in early June. Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 0.4 percent at 20,808.69 after flitting between gains and losses. Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.1 percent at 24,521.12. South Korea's Kospi dropped 0.4 percent 2,003.17. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent to 5,509.20. Markets in Southeast Asia were mixed.
THE QUOTE: "Chinese equities are rallying today on the idea of further easing measures, while there is also talk the stability fund will likely get a nice top up of capital," said IG chief strategist Chris Weston in a commentary. "Momentum seems to have swung back somewhat," he said. "Although I wouldn't personally be trading off this signal alone. Fiscal stimulus expectations are also helping."
U.S. JOBS: The U.S. added 215,000 jobs in July, the Labor Department said Friday, another signal that the job market is steadily improving and providing a key piece of data for the Federal Reserve as it assesses whether the U.S. economy can withstand higher interest rates. The Fed has flagged that it will raise interest rates from record lows this year and a rate hike is expected in September or December.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude was up 26 cents to $44.09 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell 7 percent last week.
CURENCIES: The dollar rose to 124.67 yen from 124.22 yen on Friday. The euro dropped to $1.0950 from $1.0969.