World stock markets surged Thursday as bank shares rocketed and the euro hit a seven-week high against the dollar after EU leaders struck a crucial deal to solve the eurozone debt crisis.
European equities rose by between 2.0 and 5.0 percent after strong gains for Asian shares, while the euro topped $1.40 for the first time since early September.
"Stocks have had a stunning start to the day, and Europe's troubled banking sector is staging a broad-based rally," said Kathleen Brooks, an analyst at traders Forex.com.
"Decisions have been made in Europe, and even if we are short on detail Europe's leaders are talking the right game and the markets seem to like it." In European midday deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index jumped 2.28 percent to 5,553.60 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 soared 3.93 percent to 6,253.58 points and in Paris the CAC 40 rallied 4.26 percent to 3,304.93 points.
Europe on Thursday sealed a last-ditch deal to fix its festering debt crisis by shoring up its bailout fund, pledging new funds for Greece and pushing banks to share the pain at a summit vital to the health of the global economy.
Banking shares rocketed in response, with Deutsche Bank up nearly 16 percent to 32.87 euros in Frankfurt and BNP Paribas rising 15 percent to 34.64 euros in Paris.
In London, Barclays advanced 12 percent at 200 pence, while Britain's bailed-out lender Royal Bank of Scotland gained more than eight percent.
"Europe's high command may have delayed their press conference for six hours, but for the bulls it was worth it," said Brooks. "The euro has surged above $1.40."
After surpassing the psychological barrier, the European single currency stood at $1.4013 in London deals compared with $1.3908 late in New York on Wednesday.
The dollar fell to 75.89 yen from 76.21 yen on Wednesday. Gold prices dipped to $1,712.85 an ounce from $1,715 a day earlier.
Asia-Pacific markets were the first to react to the deal, welcomed amid fears that contagion of the eurozone debt crisis could plunge the global economy into a fresh recession following the 2009 downturn.
Tokyo closed up 2.04 percent and Hong Kong rallied 3.26 percent.
"Overall, the agreement is welcome and addresses the fundamental issues underlying the eurozone debt crisis," said Barry Dixon, analyst at Davy stockbrokers.
"Whether the detail of the agreement is sufficient to quell market concerns over the medium term remains to be seen," he cautioned, sharing the concerns of many investors.
The deal by holders of Greek bonds to accept a 50 percent loss on their investment -- more than double the amount they agreed to at a July summit -- will slash 100 billion euros ($140 billion) from the 350 billion euros owed by Greece.
Convincing banks to erase billions in Greek debt was a key part of the deal, along with the bank recapitalisation and beefed-up rescue fund.
Lenders earlier agreed to a recapitalisation to protect themselves against a Greek writedown.
Ahead of the deal, US stocks indices closed Wednesday with solid gains, including a rise of 1.39 percent for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.