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Global markets rise, buoyed by Turkey's rate hike, China's infusion of funds

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MANILA, Philippines - Global stock markets rose Wednesday as jitters about emerging economies were soothed by the Turkish central bank's aggressive interest rate hike to stabilize its currency and China's infusion of funds into its banking system.

In early European trading, major benchmarks were all up. Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.9 per cent to 6,632.47. Germany's DAX climbed 1.1 per cent to 9,508.92 while France's CAC-40 was up 1.1 per cent at 4,230.52. Futures augured a higher opening on Wall Street. Dow Jones futures rose 0.5 per cent to 15,949 and S&P 500 futures climbed 0.6 per cent to 1,798.40

Global stock markets have stabilized after three turbulent days when investors grew worried about growth in China and other developing nations that have become a significant portion of the world economic pie.

The sell-off began last Thursday, when a survey for January showed that Chinese manufacturing was set to contract, dragging down stocks in Asia, Europe and the U.S. The slide continued on Friday as currencies in countries including Argentina and Turkey slumped. On Monday, Asian markets dropped, although the selling on Wall Street eased.

By Tuesday, though, global markets regained some calm. In the U.S., earnings gains from big companies, including Pfizer, Comcast and D.R. Horton helped lift stock indexes. One area of disappointment, though, was Apple, whose weak revenue forecast pushed its stock to the biggest one-day loss in a year.

Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 2.7 per cent, closing at 15,383.91 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.8 per cent to 22,141.61. China's Shanghai Composite was up 0.6 per cent at 2,049.91.

South Korea's Kospi added 1.3 per cent to 1,941.15. Indonesia's benchmark climbed 1.7 per cent to 4,417.35.

"The emerging market story was once again the main driver of price action through Asian trade with Turkey at the forefront of market activity," said Stan Shamu, market strategist at IG in Melbourne, Australia.

Turkey's central bank hiked its overnight lending rate to 12 per cent from 7.75 per cent and overnight borrowing rate to 8 per cent from 3.5 per cent to stabilize the Turkish lira and keep inflation under control.

Investors continued to watch for more central bank action ahead of the weekend, including in the U.S., South Africa and New Zealand, he said.

Jackson Wong, vice-president of Tanrich Securities in Hong Kong said the Hong Kong market continued its rebound following Monday's big sell off. The Chinese central bank's injection of more funds into the banking system boosted sentiment in China's banks, he said.

"We are seeing a strong recovery in this sector and its bringing up the whole market," Wong said.

Benchmark oil for March delivery was down 43 cents to $96.99 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1.69 to settle at $97.41 a barrel on Tuesday.

In currencies, the euro rose to $1.3677 from $1.3653 late Tuesday. The dollar fell to 102.99 yen from 103.19 yen.

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