Encouraging data from China eased concerns about the outlook for the world's second-largest economy, and raised hope that stabilization there could propel faster growth worldwide.
Better-than-expected growth in both exports and imports came as a relief to Chinese policy makers and international investors, who have worried that China's still-strong but recently slowing economic growth is dampening a wider global expansion.
Chinese exports in July rose 5.1% from a year ago, better than the 3% analysts had expected. And imports surged 10.9%, dramatically better than predicted, indicating a healthy level of domestic consumption.
Though concerns remain about the sustainability of the nation's economic prospects, the data indicated that the Chinese economy may be stabilizing after months of softening economic figures.
The Chinese economy grew 7.5% in the second quarter, a level the U.S. and Europe could only dream of, but a slowdown from more robust growth in recent years.
Stocks in China and throughout much of the emerging markets have performed poorly in the last few years, in part because of uncertainty about China's economic outlook.