European stocks rose yesterday on a barrage of positive earnings reports and buoyant US data, shrugging of the latest twist in Greece’s saga to unlock bailout funding.
London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies jumped 1.37% to 5,861.92 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 advanced 1.35% to 3,475.40 points and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 gained 1.03% to 7,335.67 points.
In foreign exchange activity, the euro eased slightly to $1.2940 from $1.2958 in New York on Wednesday. Gold prices slid to $1,716.25 an ounce at the evening fixing on the London Bullion Market, from $1,719 the day before.
Some buoyant data on consumer confidence and the manufacturing sector gave Wall Street a solid bump higher yesterday.
In midday trading the Dow Jones industrial average was up 0.92% at 13,216.61 points.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.87% to 1,424.51 points, while the Nasdaq added 1.25% to 3,014.30 points.
The markets jumped higher on a gain in consumer confidence: the Conference Board index for October rose to 72.2 in October, up from a revised 68.4 in September and better than forecasts.
Also helping was a slight rise in the ISM’s purchasing manager index for the industrial sector, to 51.7% from September’s 51.5% reading.
US weekly jobless claims continued to decline, falling a modest 9,000 to 363,000 last week, the Labor Department said yesterday.
New claims for unemployment insurance benefits in the week to October 27 - an indicator of the pace of layoffs—came in below the four-week moving trend of 367,250.
The focus now switches to hotly-awaited non-farm payrolls numbers today.
The results season was in full swing in London.
State-rescued Lloyds bank saw its share price soar by 8.28% to 43.9 pence, despite news that it has set aside £1.0bn ($1.6bn, €1.2bn) to compensate clients who were mis-sold insurance.
Lloyds Banking Group, which is 39.6% owned by the taxpayer after a vast bailout at the height of the global financial crisis, added that it faced a net loss of £361mn in the three months to the end of September.
However, that marked an improvement from a shortfall of £501mn a year earlier, as it cut bad debts and narrowed losses from its non-core businesses.
Meanwhile, heavyweight Royal Dutch Shell posted a slight 2% rise in net profit to $7.139bn (€5.514bn) in the third quarter, saying it had faced “volatile energy markets”.
European markets shrugged off a comment by the IMF that talks on releasing bailout funds needed to stave off Greece’s looming bankruptcy had become stuck.