By Avantika Chilkoti 

Global stocks started the week higher as economic data signaled an improvement in the Chinese economy, adding to optimism that some of the biggest risks to markets are clearing.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1% on Monday, while the Stoxx Europe 600 index gained almost 1%. In Asia, the Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.6%.

Fresh data showed that Chinese economic activity, including factory production and consumer spending, improved in November. The better-than-expected results for industrial production and retail sales may help alleviate investors' concerns about growth in the world's second-largest economy.

Markets were buoyed last week as some of the major risks facing global economic growth--the U.S.-China trade spat, changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement and uncertainty around Brexit -- appeared to ease. On Friday, the U.S. reached a truce with China after securing a pledge from Beijing to boost purchases of agricultural products, bringing to a temporary halt to tensions that have rocked markets for most of this year.

Over in the U.K., the FTSE 100 index, which tracks the biggest companies in the country, rose 1.7%. The gauge is extending gains posted last week following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's resounding majority in the general elections. The result, analysts said, paves the way for the U.K. to leave the bloc at the end of next month, clearing some of the political uncertainty that has hung over the economy since the 2016 Brexit referendum. The pound was up largely flat on the dollar.

Within European equities, shares in Electrolux dropped over 10% after the Swedish appliance maker announced that a reorganization of its manufacturing in the U.S. will hit fourth-quarter operating income.

Write to Avantika Chilkoti at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 16, 2019 05:18 ET (10:18 GMT)

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