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Stocks rise as virus in China not declared global emergency

ELAINE KURTENBACH
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Japan Financial Markets

People stand in front of an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 index at a securities firm in Tokyo Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Shares are mostly higher in quiet trading as China closes down for its week-long Lunar New Year festival. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

BANGKOK (AP) — Global stock markets rose Friday after the outbreak of a new virus in China that that has killed 25 people and led to transport limits in several cities was not declared a global emergency.

Germany's DAX gained 1.4% to 13,577 while the CAC 40 in Paris rose 1.1% to 6,038, helped also by a report of improvements in manufacturing data. A survey of manufacturing activity in the eurozone reported Friday suggested demand is stabilizing despite weakness in some regions.

In Britain, the FTSE 100 also gained 1.6%, to 7,630. Wall Street likewise looked set for an upbeat open, with the future contracts for the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.3%.

As authorities confirmed more cases of the new virus first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, investors continued to monitor developments in the international effort to keep it from spreading further and potentially harming the global economy.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.1% to 23,827.18 and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng gained 0.2% to 27,949.64 in a shortened session. Australia's S&P ASX/200 picked up 2.5 points to 7,090.50, while the Sensex in India rose 0.6%, to 41,622.97.

Markets were closed in Shanghai and the rest of mainland China, South Korea, Malaysia and Taiwan.

The World Health Organization decided Thursday against declaring the viral outbreak in China a global emergency for now. Such a declaration could result in trade and travel restrictions and other economic damage.

Fears of such a possibility have weighed on global markets this week, driving up demand for U.S. government bonds and safe-play stocks.

Market “traders are weighing the anticipated China growth fallout against the backdrop of the current global growth recovery. While the calculus is not coming up roses, it's far from a state of global market panic," Stephen Innes of AxiCorp said in a commentary.

“Still, if risk aversion starts to spread beyond China's borders and starts to affect more than the usual suspect's luxury, travel, and tourism, then we will likely see a more significant dive in the broader global indices," he said.

Benchmark crude oil fell 25 cents to $55.34 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $1.15 to settle at $55.59 a barrel on Thursday. Brent crude oil, the international standard, lost 38 cents to $61.66 per barrel. It dropped $1.17 to close at $62.04 a barrel overnight.

Gold fell back, losing $6.10 to $1,559.30.

The dollar rose to 109.61 Japanese yen from 109.49 yen on Thursday. The euro weakened to $1.1034 from $1.1056.