HONG KONG: Asian and European markets climbed Friday following news Chinese factory gate prices increased for the first time in more than four years, while the death of Thailand’s king sparked bargain-buying after suffering a sell-off in his final days.
Beijing said the producer price index rose last month after 54 consecutive months of falling, beating estimates for a drop and providing some much-needed hope for the Chinese economy a day after market-sapping trade figures.
Chinese firms have for years been battered by falling prices for their goods in the face of chronic overcapacity and weak demand, putting a damper on growth in a key driver of the world economy.
Consumer prices also rose more than expected.
“The end of PPI deflation is a good signal for the economy’s stabilization,” Gao Yuwei, a researcher at Bank of China in Beijing, told Bloomberg News. “PPI is expected to be remain expansionary in the coming months.”
Traders around Asia broadly welcomed the news on the world’s number two economy, which is struggling with a years-long fight against slowing growth.
Hong Kong ended 0.9 percent higher and Shanghai gained 0.1 percent, while Seoul was up 0.4 percent and Tokyo added 0.5 percent. Sydney was flat.
In Bangkok the Stock Exchange of Thailand soared 4.2 percent in the afternoon, paring huge losses built up through the week as news filtered out that King Bhumibol Adulyadej was gravely ill. The baht climbed one percent against the dollar.
Thai stocks plunged around six percent this week and the baht lost around three percent as investors grew uneasy about political and economic stability following the death of the monarch who reigned for seven decades.
While he wielded no official power, Bhumibol was considered a uniting force in a fractured nation where political tensions are still raw two years after a military coup.