January 24, 2020 / 2:58 PM / a month ago

GLOBAL MARKETS-Positive eurozone data pushes global equity markets higher

NEW YORK, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Global equity markets rebounded on Friday, with the U.S. Nasdaq Composite Index hitting a record high, as investors took in positive economic data from Europe and worried less about the potential economic toll of the coronavirus outbreak in China.

A Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey showed Germany’s private sector gaining momentum, with growth in services up and a pullback in manufacturing easing. British PMI figures for January showed the vast services sector returning to growth for the first time since August while a downturn in manufacturing slowed.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.13% following slight gains in Japan and Asia. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.95 points, or 0.34%, to 29,259.04, the S&P 500 gained 4.47 points, or 0.13%, to 3,330.01 and the Nasdaq Composite added 38.29 points, or 0.41%, to 9,440.77.

“Sentiment among manufacturers is improving rapidly, meaning that expectations for a 2020 recovery are increasing,” ING economist Bert Colijn said of the euro zone.

“We are expecting growth to very gradually pick up over the course of the year.”

MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.26%.

Concerns abated slightly about the global economic ramifications of a deadly coronavirus outbreak in China, after the World Health Organization designated it an emergency for China, but not yet for the rest of the world.

The virus has killed 26 people and infected more than 800. Chinese health authorities fear the infection rate could accelerate as hundreds of millions of people travel over the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, which began on Friday.

“Markets are waiting to see whether or not (the coronavirus) has a material impact on growth, and that’s hard to judge at the moment,” said Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Market.com.

As investors bet on riskier assets, some safe havens such as the Japanese yen and gold dipped.

The yen fell a sliver to 109.60 yen against the dollar, off two-week highs of 109.26 touched on Thursday. Gold fell 0.3%.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 6/32 in price to yield 1.7203%, from 1.739% late on Thursday.

U.S. crude dropped 1.7% to $54.67 a barrel while Brent slid 1.5% to $61.09.

Reporting by David Randall; Editing by David Gregorio

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