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European shares rebound despite China slide

Investors watch stock prices on screens at a securities company in Beijing on February 25, 2016. Chinese shares plunged more than six percent on February 25 as economic clouds settled over a G20 meeting in Shanghai, but oil-driven gains helped Tokyo close higher while European markets rebounded at the open. AFP PHOTO / FRED DUFOUR / AFP / FRED DUFOUR

London / AFP

European stock markets rebounded on Thursday despite another slide for Chinese share prices, as investors looked ahead to a key meeting of finance ministers to discuss strains in the global economy.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index rallied to stand 2.0 percent higher in late morning deals.
In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 won 0.8 percent and the Paris CAC 40 advanced 1.6 percent.
“European bourses are taking their lead from the late rally (Wednesday) on Wall Street, shrugging off the slump in Chinese stocks ahead of the G20 meeting in Shanghai,” said Andy McLevey, head of dealing at stockbroker Interactive Investor.
Europe’s main indices had tumbled Wednesday, with Frankfurt shedding 2.6 percent in value, as investors grappled with volatile oil prices.
But Wall Street managed to end higher later in the day amid speculation that China would add stimulus to boost its slowing economy and as oil prices rebounded from steep falls.
On Thursday, Shanghai’s main index dived more than six percent, slammed by worries over China’s slowing economy and tight liquidity, dealers said.

G20 awaits
The sharp decline came ahead of a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 group of leading industrialised nations in commercial hub Shanghai starting on Friday, with China’s slowing growth expected to loom over the high-level discussions.
The gloomy outlook for the global economy has added to pressure on central bankers to unleash fresh monetary firepower to help stimulate growth and reassure investors.
“The economy hasn’t shown signs of stabilisation and policies are still coming out one after another,” Central China Securities analyst Zhang Gang told AFP.
Energy and materials companies led Wall Street higher on Wednesday, as a rise in crude prices helped US stocks claw back ground from their biggest fall in two weeks.
That helped Japanese shares add 1.41 percent on Thursday — their first gain in three days — despite an almost 15-percent slump in electronics maker Sharp after it accepted a takeover by the parent company of Taiwan’s Foxconn.
Cooling growth in China, a key importer of raw materials, has sent commodity and energy prices spinning and saw global stocks notch one of their worst starts to a year in living memory.
Falling commodity prices have hurt exporters like Australia, whose currency slumped Thursday on news that companies are planning to invest their least in nine years.
Adding to the concerns, the International Monetary Fund on Wednesday warned that the world economy is “highly vulnerable,” and said it would likely cut its 2016 growth forecast of 3.4 percent.
US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has said G20 finance ministers will not deliver an “emergency response” to the market turmoil this week, as the world was not in crisis mode just yet.

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