Market Buzz: US housing uptick and China growth bring hope

Market Buzz: US housing uptick and China growth bring hope
Foreign stocks finished Tuesday trading on an upbeat note after US home price data, as well as comments over improved growth in China, offered hope of a coming economic recovery.

Home prices in the US rose in November, meaning the domestic housing market strengthened. The S&P/Case-Shiller index – which examines housing prices in the 20 biggest US cities – rose 5.5% year on year in November.

Meanwhile, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the country’s top thinktank, said that China’s economy was set to grow 8.4% in 2013, up from 8.2%.

Tuesday also marked the start of the US Federal Reserve's first monetary policy meeting of the year, which experts don’t expect to bring any big news. “Most likely, a head of the regulator [the Fed] will confirm the monetary course that had been scheduled earlier,” Investcafe analyst Ekaterina Kondrashova wrote in an email.

Russian stocks finished Tuesday trading in the red: The RTS declined 0.71% to 1,623.87 and the MICEX lost 0.84% to end at 1,549.75.

European markets closed higher on Tuesday, with shares in London leading the region. The FTSE 100 added 0.71%, while Germany's DAX went up 0.20% and France's CAC 40 rose 0.13%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.5% to end at 13,954. The S&P 500 added 0.5%, closing at 1508.

Stocks in Asia are trending higher on Wednesday: Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.7%, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average rose 1.1%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.1% –

extending a 21-month high and nine-session winning streak – and South Korea’s Kospi inched up 0.1%.