European stocks climb with focus on Fed, Scotland

GMT 12:52 2014 Thursday ,18 September

Arab Today, arab today European stocks climb with focus on Fed, Scotland

Frankfurt stock exchange
London - AFP

 Europe's stock markets rose on Thursday, mirroring Fed-inspired gains overnight on Wall Street, but with attention focused on Scotland where an independence referendum is under way.
In late morning deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.53 percent to 6,816.71 points, while the British pound held steady despite uncertainty over the outcome of the Scottish vote.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index gained 0.72 percent to stand at 4,463.72 points and Frankfurt's DAX 30 advanced 0.97 percent to 9,755.05 compared with Wednesday's closing level.
Wall Street hit a fresh record on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve stuck to its slow-but-steady plans to tighten monetary policy.
- Fed pledge boosts sentiment -
"Markets (are) tentatively higher ... following gains in the US as the Federal Reserve pledged to keep interest rates near zero for what they term a considerable time," said Andy McLevey, head of dealing at broker Interactive Investor.
"Any gains are likely to be muted though as the people of Scotland go to the polls to determine whether they go it alone and vote for independence or remain part of the UK.
"Until the results are known early tomorrow morning many investors will be sitting on the sidelines."
Asian equities mostly advanced after the US central bank stuck to its timetable on hiking interest rates but indicated they could rise more sharply than initially envisaged.
After a closely watched meeting, the Fed said it would stick to its steady-as-she-goes policy, keeping borrowing costs at a record low of 0-0.25 percent despite growing calls for a rise as the economy strengthens.
However, the bank's statement that its federal funds rate would remain low for "some considerable time" fanned a global rally.
"European shares look to play catch-up again this morning after US stock markets rallied with a sigh of relief that central bankers are still supporting the run up in asset prices through accommodative monetary policy," added analyst Jasper Lawler at traders CMC Markets.
Frankfurt won a short in the arm after German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said it would float its chemicals Material Science division to focus on its life sciences activities in human and animal health.
The  news sent Bayer's share price surging 4.85 percent to 111.3 euros.
Shares in British no-frills airline easyJet rose 1.79 percent to 1,362 pence in London, after the company finalised a $2.0-billion deal for 27 A320 aircraft from European planemaker Airbus.
Airbus shares meanwhile rallied 1.38 percent to 49.475 euros in Paris.
- Pound stable amid referendum -
Meanwhile, the British pound held stead against rival currencies, with dealers anxiously awaiting the outcome of Thursday's referendum in Scotland.
Scots were voting in an independence referendum which could break up the centuries-old United Kingdom.
Despite opinion polls showing the "No" camp was ahead, experts said the contest was too close to call owing to the possible margin of error.
Results are not expected until early on Friday morning.
In Thursday deals, the pound rose to $1.6312 from $1.6280 late in New York on Wednesday.
The euro was unchanged at 79.02 pence from 79.02 pence.
Sterling had last week slumped to 10-month dollar low and three-month euro troughs on fears over the impact of Scottish independence.
Elsewhere in the foreign exchange market, the European single currency rose to $1.2892 from $1.2865 on Wednesday.
On the London Bullion Market, gold gained to $1,236.15 an ounce from $1,232.25.



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
arabtoday arabtoday arabtoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabs, Arab, Arab