European shares surged Friday after the ECB signalled it is ready to act quickly to deter deflation and China cut benchmark interest rates for the first time in more than two years.
London's benchmark FTSE 100 index rose 1.17 percent compared with Thursday's closing value to stand at 6,757.36 points in afternoon trading.
Frankfurt's DAX 30 surged 2.53 percent to 9,723.83 points and the CAC 40 index in Paris rallied 2.61 percent to stand at 4,344.88.
Madrid shot up 3.02 percent, Milan 3.06 percent and Athens 3.67 percent.
However the euro slumped on the prospect of more easy money being injected into the eurozone, falling to $1.2421 from $1.2540 late on Thursday.
"What was initially looking like a quiet day for the financial markets... has become a lot more interesting thanks to some dovish sounding comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and surprise stimulus from the People's Bank of China," said Craig Erlam, market analyst at Alpari traders.
Draghi told a banking congress on Friday that the ECB "will use all means available to us, within our mandate, to return inflation towards our objective -– and without any undue delay".
In a bid to ward off deflation -- a dangerous downward spiral of falling prices -- in the single-currency bloc the ECB has cut its interest rates to all-time lows and embarked on a series of asset purchase programmes to pump liquidity into the financial system.
While on the surface falling prices seem attractive, they can in fact deter businesses and consumers from spending in the belief that goods and services will become even cheaper.
The euro retreated "sharply on the back of Draghi's comments as he once again sets the stage for a potential" announcement on stimulus, said Kathleen Brooks, analyst at Forex.com trading group.
It also fell against the pound, dropping to 79.23 pence from 79.90 late on Thursday.
The pound slid to $1.5671 from $1.5694
Meanwhile the yen pulled off multi-year lows, clawing back some of its losses over the past week.
The dollar bought 117.92 yen compared to 118.22 late on Thursday, while the euro bought 146.44 yen, down from 148.25.
In Beijing, the People's Bank of China (PBoC) unexpectedly moved to prop up flagging growth in the world's second-largest economy.
It cut its one-year deposit rate by 0.25 of a percentage point to 2.75 percent and reduced the one-year lending rate by 0.40 of a percentage point to 5.6 percent.
Shares in mining companies that supply Chinese factories with raw materials surged on the news.
In London, Anglo American soared 6.2 percent 1,373.50 pence, Rio Tinto jumped 6.0 percent to 3,035 pence and BHP Billiton gained 5.8 percent to 1,673.50 pence.
The Chinese rate move came too late for Asian equity markets, most of which rose on bargain-buying and another record-breaking lead from Wall Street.
Tokyo climbed 0.33 percent higher, while Seoul rose 0.35 percent, but Sydney fell 0.22 percent.
Hong Kong ended a four-day losing streak to rise 0.37 percent and Shanghai jumped 1.39 percent.
- Wall Street record territory -
However it helped US stocks power to new intra-session records.
After around an hour of trading the Dow Jones Industrial Average had climbed 0.79 percent to 17,858 points.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.76 percent to 2,068.37, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.77 percent to 4,738.19.
Elsewhere on Friday, shares in French firm Bouygues rallied after Altice, the parent company of cable operator Numericable, showed interest in its telecoms subsidiary, signalling another possible tie-up in France's mobile phone market.
Bouygues was up 3.52 percent at 29.85 euros in Paris afternoon trading.
Shares in French supermarket group Carrefour climbed 3.0 percent to 25.27 euros after it got regulatory approval to acquire the 800 stores in the troubled French unit of Spanish discount supermarket group Dia.