NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global stocks rose for the first time in seven sessions o n Thursday after relatively encouraging U.S. jobs data and as investor sentiment improved regarding Europe’s festering debt crisis.
U.S. and European stocks climbed after data showed U.S. claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, an upbeat sign after April’s weak employment growth was seen as a harbinger of a worsening U.S. labor market.
Investors also used a recent streak of declines to step into the markets, lifting the euro against the dollar for the first time in nine sessions and snapping a six-day losing streak for the Dow Jones industrial average.
The Spanish government effectively took over Bankia SA (BKIA.MC), one of Spain’s biggest banks, late on Wednesday and said more measures to strengthen its ailing banks would be announced on Fri day in a move to end a four-year banking crisis.
In addition, Greece late on Wednesday averted an imminent funding crisis after the board of the European Financial Stability Facility agreed to release a scheduled payment.
The 4.2 billion euro allocation allows the country to meet near-term bond redemptions, helping the euro stabilize after an eight-day sell-off.
“The EFSF commitment of more funds to Greece will give the country enough cash until the summer, which is helping risk sentiment, but also leaves plenty of time for the political crisis to play out,” said Camilla Sutton, chief currency strategist at Scotia Capital in Toronto.
The euro was up 0.2 percent at $1.2962.
In equity markets, investors used the recent declines, which had erased much of this year’s gains in Europe, as a buying opportunity.
“We were oversold. But now there are some fair valuations in stocks, especially in ones that pay dividends or have recently increased them,” said Jerry Harris, president of asset management at Sterne Agee in Birmingham, Alabama.
“The issues with Europe aren’t going away, but they seem to come in waves and right now the latest wave is ebbing.”
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 65.88 points, or 0.51 percent, at 12,900.94. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index was up 8.61 points, or 0.64 percent, at 1,363.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 5.72 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,940.43.
The FTSE Eurofirst index of top European shares closed 0.45 percent higher at 1,019.05.
MSCI’s all-country world equity index gained 0.5 percent to 316.59, its first gain after six straight days of losses.
Oil traded around $113 per barrel as dealers weighed the impact of Chinese trade data on the global economy against the encouraging U.S. jobs figures.
Signs of a long-expected downturn in China finally appeared in trade data, with weaker-than-expected exports and stalling headline import growth signaling that government spending is crucial to keeping the Chinese economy humming.
Rising supply from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries added to downward pressure on crude. OPEC’s monthly report said oil supply was plentiful and in excess of market requirements.
Brent crude retreated, dropping 30 cents at $112.90 a barrel. U.S. crude climbed 31 cents to $97.12 a barrel.
U.S. Treasury debt prices fell as worries eased marginally over the trajectory of the European debt crisis and investors sought price concessions ahead of the sale of 30-year bonds.
Price losses deepened after the data on unemployment benefits edged down for last week. Treasuries later trimmed losses after a $16 billion auction of 30-year bonds.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was down 7/32 in price to yield 1.89 percent.
The 30-year U.S. Treasury bond was down 24/32, the yield at 3.07 percent.
“We’re looking at better equities, better peripheral spreads in Europe and supply coming up in the bond auction, so we’re grinding to higher yields ahead of the supply,” said Rick Klingman, managing director of Treasury trading at BNP Paribas in New York.
Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was up 0.35 percent at 79.91. The U.S. dollar index was up 0.03 percent to 80.057.
Spot gold prices rose $6.65 to $1,595.50 an ounce.
(Editing by Dan Grebler)