BANGKOK (AP) — World stock markets climbed Friday as China's inflation eased and Greece moved closer to inking a deal with private creditors to restructure its debt and avoid a massive default.
Benchmark oil stayed above $106 per barrel while the dollar was higher against the yen and the euro.
European markets were mostly higher after Greece announced that it had managed to convince a high proportion of its private creditors — 85.8 percent — to accept steep losses on their Greek bonds, staving off an imminent default. The ministry also said it intended to force the remaining holdouts to participate.
Britain's FTSE 100 was marginally higher at 5,862.85. Germany's DAX gained 0.5 percent to 6,870.62 and France's CAC-40 added 0.2 percent to 3,485.06.
Gains on Wall Street were muted ahead of the opening bell. Dow Jones industrial futures rose marginally to 12,849 while S&P 500 futures were virtually unchanged at 1,360.50.
Asian markets, meanwhile, were reassured by news that China's inflation fell sharply in February, giving Beijing more leeway to stimulate the world's No. 2 economy. Consumer price inflation fell to 3.2 percent from January's 4.5 percent.
That helped to offset any caution from a U.S. Labor Department report on Thursday that showed the number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week to 362,000, up some 8,000 from the week before. A closely watched monthly U.S. employment report is due later Friday.
"Inflation is benign in China, a little bit below market expectations," said Francis Lun, managing director of Lyncean Holdings in Hong Kong. "I think the outlook is more positive now, even though the U.S. employment data doesn't look that good."
Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed up 1.7 percent to 9,929.74, its highest finish in more than seven months. It briefly surged past 10,000 for the first time since Aug. 1 amid market optimism that a fix to Greece's immediate debt was at hand.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.9 percent to 21,086. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.9 percent to 2,018.30 and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1 percent to close at 4,212. Benchmarks in Singapore, Taiwan and Indonesia also rose.
Mainland China's benchmark Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.8 percent to 2,439.46. The Shenzhen Composite Index shot up 1.6 percent to 995.87. Among big gainers was Inner Mongolia Baotou Steel Rare-Earth Group, which rose 6.9 percent.
Investor attention is also turning to a report Friday on how many jobs the U.S. economy added in February and the unemployment rate. Economists expect 200,000 jobs were added. If the unemployment rate falls from 8.3 percent, it will be the sixth straight decline.
Among individual stocks, Japan's Tokio Marine Holdings jumped 3.6 percent after a judge in the U.S. state of Delaware refused to halt a shareholder vote on its acquisition of Delphi Financial Group Inc.
Tokio Marine announced in December that it had agreed to buy Delphi to strengthen its position in the U.S. property and casualty insurance market and enter the life insurance market, but some Delphi stockholders had challenged the deal.
Hong Kong subway operator MTR Corp. rose 1.5 percent after it reported net profit rose 22 percent in 2011 on improved results from its property development business and overseas rail operations.
Australian flagship carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. fell 2.6 percent after its plans for a new premium airline in Asia were put in jeopardy as talks with Malaysia Airlines ended without a deal.
Japan's powerhouse export sector was helped as the yen slipped against the dollar and the euro, which helps to lower prices of Japanese goods sold overseas and raises the value of repatriated profits. Mazda Motor Corp. jumped 4.7 percent. Suzuki Motor Corp. added 2.5 percent. Sony Corp. climbed 4.3 percent.
Benchmark oil for April delivery was up 37 cents to $106.95 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose 42 cents to settle at $106.58 per barrel in New York on Thursday.
The dollar rose to 81.70 yen from 81.60 yen late Thursday in New York. In currencies, the euro fell to $1.3229 from $1.3270.