(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
NEW YORK - World shares edged towards a six-month high yesterday as the biggest jump in Chinese stocks for over two years and an upbeat start for Europe followed Wall Street’s best close since January.

The moves came despite a host of simmering global feuds. Oil prices ticked higher as the US reimposed some sanctions on Iran, while the Turkish lira bounced back almost 2percent from its worst day in a decade on Monday that had been prompted by a row with Washington.

The mood lifted overnight as Chinese stocks rebounded 2.7percent on hopes of fresh government spending, following a four-day sell-off that had knocked them down about 6percent.

London, Paris and Frankfurt followed by rising 0.6 to 0.9percent as Europe’s investors cheered results from Italy’s biggest bank, UniCredit, and oil firms and miners gained on the rise in crude prices.

“The Chinese have stabilised the yuan, the lira hasn’t been annihilated this morning, so once the sharp forex moves have calmed down, and as long as the (company) earnings are good, you have a more risk-friendly environment,” said Société Gé* érale strategist Kit Juckes.

Currency markets remained volatile, although less so than in recent sessions, as the dollar dipped.

The euro bounced to $1.1583 from a near six-week low despite a second day of disappointing German economic data, while Britain’s pound made back some ground after Brexit worries had pushed it to an 11-month low.

Turkey’s lira recovered 1.7percent from Monday’s losses of more than 5percent after Washington had moved to end duty-free access to US markets for some Turkish exports.

A report by CNN Turk that Turkish officials would go to Washington to discuss the strained relations helped the rise, although the lira remains close to a record low.

Already struggling with inflation at 14-year highs near 16percent and political pressure on the central bank not to raise interest rates, the lira’s year-to-date losses are nearing 30percent as jitters about foreign-currency debt payments rise.

An impressive global earnings picture and upgrades to the US profit-growth horizon outweighed the global trade tensions and the various emerging-market dislocations.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 Index closed at its highest level since January 29 overnight, less than 1percent from its record high hit earlier that month.

Wall Street buoyed market sentiment around the world, with Tokyo and Seoul both up 0.6percent and Hong Kong closing up more than 1percent, along with Shanghai’s big bwounce.

In commodities, oil extended the previous day’s rally after the imposition of US sanctions against major crude exporter Iran took effect yesterday.

Benchmark Brent crude oil futures shook off earlier weakness and were 0.33percent higher at $73.99 (R983.85) a barrel yesterday morning. 

- Reuters