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Originally published September 2, 2014 at 6:15 AM | Page modified September 3, 2014 at 5:56 AM

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Global stock markets rise on Ukraine cease-fire

European stocks led gains in global markets Wednesday after a cease-fire was announced in eastern Ukraine. Markets were also buoyed by new signs of strength in the U.S. economy and expectations that Europe's central bank will provide more support to the flagging region.


AP Business Writer

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SEOUL, South Korea —

European stocks led gains in global markets Wednesday after a cease-fire was announced in eastern Ukraine. Markets were also buoyed by new signs of strength in the U.S. economy and expectations that Europe's central bank will provide more support to the flagging region.

KEEPING SCORE: Britain's FTSE 100 gained 0.9 percent to 6,892.37 and France's CAC 40 advanced 1.4 percent to 4,438.78. Germany's DAX added 1.6 percent to 9,659.90. Futures augured a positive start for Wall Street. Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures both gained 0.5 percent.

UKRAINE CEASE-FIRE: European stocks gained sharply on news of the cease-fire between Ukraine and Russia that was announced by the office of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Ukraine and the West have accused Russia of sending troops and weapons to support pro-Russian insurgents who have been fighting government troops in eastern Ukraine since mid-April. Moscow has vehemently denied this charge.

ASIA'S DAY: Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4 percent to 15,728.35 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 2.3 percent to 25,317.95. Stock markets in mainland China and Southeast Asia also rose. But Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was flat at 5,656.10 and South Korea's Kospi was little changed at 2,051.20.

AILING EUROPE: Expectations are high that the European Central Bank will take additional measures to prevent Europe from falling into deflation when policymakers meet on Thursday. Analysts said even if this week's meeting does not result in stimulus measures, investors will continue to anticipate support from the bank in the coming months.

SOLID US: On Tuesday, the Institute for Supply Management, a trade group, said its gauge of manufacturing reached a three-year high in August, boosted by new orders for goods and increased production. Investors, however, are more interested in clues about when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates. Later on Wednesday, the Fed will issue its latest Beige Book survey covering economic conditions around the country through late August.

THE QUOTE: "Growth is strong enough to end the asset purchase program in the U.S., and for the Fed to consider raising interest rates. The opposite is true in the Eurozone, where the central bank is considering additional stimulus measures to boost the economy," said Desmond Chua, a market analyst at CMC Markets.

CHINA SILVERLINING: An HSBC report showed that activity expanded at the fastest rate in 17 months in China's services industries. That was a rare encouraging sign from the world's No. 2 economy, which has slowed from double-digit rates of expansion. The HSBC China Service Business Activity Index rose to 54.1 in August from 50 in July.

SAMSUNG SLIDE: Samsung announces new smartphones later Wednesday in Berlin, New York and Beijing that are crucial to reverse dwindling profit from its handset business. But investors don't seem to be expecting a game changer, with Samsung shares closing down 0.4 percent at their lowest in more than two years. Meanwhile, Apple Inc.'s shares set a record-high on Wall Street, up 0.8 percent, one week ahead of its expected new iPhone announcement.

CURRENCIES: The dollar's rise against the yen halted. The euro rose to $1.3150 from $1.3135 while the dollar fell to 105.07 yen from 105.16 yen.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude for October delivery was up 51 cents at $93.38 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It slumped more than $3 on Tuesday, closing at $92.88.



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