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China data and US banks propel equities higher

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US markets ended up as energy and banking shares rose

US markets ended up as energy and banking shares rose (AFP Photo/Spencer Platt)

New York (AFP) - Global stocks rose Friday on upbeat Chinese data and solid earnings by US banks, with London's benchmark index headed back towards its record-high level.

Gains were strongest among stock markets in the eurozone, while a rally on Wall Street lost steam as the dollar gained on other major currencies.

"This is really the warmup to earnings season," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. "This is a market that is taking a wait and see approach to see what the earnings season shows."

Bourses were also higher in Asia, including in Thailand, where investors engaged in bargain-buying after Bangkok stocks plummeted on the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

A rise in China's producer price index last month after falling for 54 consecutive months provided some much-needed hope for the Chinese economy a day after market-sapping trade figures.

Chinese consumer prices also climbed more than expected, further boosting sentiment.

Meanwhile a trio of leading US banks beat analyst forecasts for third quarter earnings despite the tough low interest rate environment.

The three -- Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup -- all saw net profits fall as low rates pared lending margins, but they beat forecasts from analysts.

Paris shares rose 1.5 percent while Frankfurt gained 1.6 percent and London 0.5 percent.

London's FTSE 100 index this week hit an intra-day high of 7,129.83 points, fuelled by a plunging pound in the wake of Britain's vote earlier this year in favour of quitting the European Union.

Wall Street stocks opened solidly higher, but the gains faded as the dollar picked up strength following a report that US retail sales rose 0.6 percent in September.

The S&P 500 finished the day up less than 0.1 percent.

- Thai stocks, baht bounce -

The leading Thai stock index rose more than four percent, in the biggest gain since 2011, according to Bloomberg.

Still, analysts warned uncertainty over the nation's future without the uniting figure of King Bhumibol poses fresh challenges for an economy already battered by a decade of political turmoil.

There is a risk that the king's death could see "political tensions flare up, triggering a slowdown in economic growth," warned Capital Economics.

Shares in Uniqlo parent Fast Retailing jumped 5.0 percent as it predicted net profit would recover in the current fiscal year after diving by more than half in the just-ended business year through August.

Twitter fell 5.1 percent following news that Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff told the Financial Times it won't bid on Twitter. Salesforce shares jumped 5.2 percent.

Dow member Goldman Sachs gained 1.9 percent after a British court dismissed the Libyan Investment Authority's suit that accused the US bank of duping Libyan officials into bad investments worth $1.2 billion (1.1 billion euros).

- Key figures at 1900 GMT -

New York - DOW: UP 0.2 percent at 18,138.38 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP less than 0.1 percent at 2,132.98 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: less than 0.1 percent at 5,214.16 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,013.55 points (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.6 percent at 10,580.38 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 1.5 percent at 4,470.92 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.7 percent at 3,025.19 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 16,856.37 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.9 percent at 23,233.31 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.1 percent at 3,063.81 (close)

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0974 from $1.1056 Thursday

Dollar/yen: UP at 104.16 yen from 103.66 yen

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2193 from $1.2253

Euro/pound: DOWN at 90.01 pence from 90.25 pence

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 9 cents at $50.35 a barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 8 cents at $51.95 a barrel