Europe's stocks higher heading into weekend

GMT 12:23 2015 Friday ,10 April

Arab Today, arab today Europe's stocks higher heading into weekend

Europe's stocks
London - AFP

European stock markets rose on Friday, extending the previous day's gains as a weaker single currency boosts companies' exports from the eurozone.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.40 percent to trade at 7,043.60 points in late morning deals.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 jumped 1.03 percent to 12,292 points and the CAC 40 in Paris advanced 0.34 percent to 5,226.60 points.

In foreign exchange, the European single currency slid to $1.0591 from $1.0659 late in New York on Thursday.

"European equity markets are... seeing some early follow-through buying on the back of yesterday’s impressive rally," said Markus Huber, senior analyst at broker Peregrine & Black.

"While there has rather been very little new major economic and corporate data overnight eurozone stocks are continuing to benefit from the overall bullish sentiment based on renewed weakness in the euro and ongoing QE (stimulus) by the ECB."

A weaker euro makes eurozone exports cheaper for buyers outside of the single currency bloc.

The dollar has fought back against the euro in recent weeks as markets bet on rises to US interest rates later this year despite a clouded outlook.

Minutes of the US central bank's last policy meeting showed a split over when interest rates should again start rising in the world's biggest economy.

Minutes from the March meeting published earlier this week showed that "several (Fed) participants" thought conditions were right for a June hike in the federal funds rate, which has been stuck near zero since late 2008.

Others deemed the economy would not be able to weather a hike until later in the year, while "a couple" said liftoff would remain unlikely until 2016.

While last week's US jobs data "was a big disappointment, the minutes from the Fed’s last meeting suggests that they remain in hiking mode and may hike rates at some point this year, even if June now seems like a long shot", said analyst Kathleen Brooks.

This week has meanwhile seen also improved optimism over Greece after the embattled eurozone nation made a scheduled 459 million euro ($495 million) loan payment to the IMF on Thursday.

Markets were looking ahead to next week's meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for updated forecasts on the global economy.

"In previous years, the IMF has tended to be over-optimistic about the global economic recovery and has been compelled to revise down its global GDP forecasts," said Neil MacKinnon, economist at financial group VTB Capital.

"Large parts of the global economy such as the eurozone and Japan still face subdued levels of domestic demand while China, once growing at a double-digit rate, is now slowing down," he added in a note to clients on Friday.


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