Upbeat US economic figures help stocks advance

by PAN PYLAS  |  published on June 27, 2012

LONDON -Upbeat U.S. economic figures helped stocks rise on Wednesday, though investors remained skeptical that European leaders would agree to any meaningful debt crisis solutions at their summit later this week.

U.S. government figures showing that durable goods orders rose by 1.1 percent in May after two months of declines, combined with a report about another positive piece of housing data. The National Association of Realtors said pending home sales jumped by 5.9 percent in May, way above the 1 percent predicted.

A recovery in the U.S. housing market is considered one of the key elements toward a stable and long-lasting economic recovery. Its demise in 2007-8 was one of the reasons behind the global financial crisis.

“What we have here is another report to support the view that the U.S. housing is recovering,” said Jennifer Lee, an economist at BMO Capital Markets.

That helped investors brush aside ongoing worries about Europe’s debt crisis, helping stocks and oil prices up sharply.

In Europe, Germany’s DAX rose 1.5 percent to close at 6,228.99, while the CAC-40 in France rose 1.7 percent to 3,063.12. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares ended 1.4 percent higher at 5,523.92.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.8 percent at 12,629, and the broader S&P 500 index was 1 percent higher at 1,333.

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