Stocks around the world rallied on Friday despite uncertainty over Greece as investors appeared to bet on fresh stimulus from the United States and Europe to boost growth and fight the eurozone crisis.
Asian markets started the rally, with European markets following and US stocks extending Thursday’s gains in early trading.
In afternoon trading London’s FTSE 100 index of leading companies was up 0.32 per cent at 5,484.39 points, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 climbed 1.20 per cent to 6,212.55 points and in Paris the CAC 40 won 1.76 per cent to 3,085.77.
Madrid’s IBEX 35 climbed 0.39 per cent, and Milan jumped 2.14 per cent after the Italian government adopted new growth boosting measures.
In foreign exchange deals, the euro dipped to $1.2594 from $1.2630 late on Thursday in New York. Sterling rose against the euro and dollar in afternoon trading after initially dropping following the stimulus news.
The dollar slid against the yen, buying 78.68 yen instead of 79.34 late on Thursday.
“Markets are taking an optimistic approach... with the news that top global central banks are willing to step in if need be after the second round of Greek elections this Sunday,” said Khurram Ali, a broker at Valbury Capital.
“The Bank of England took a similar approach by announcing two new stimulus packages to aid worsening economic fears and to give long term supports to UK banks allowing them to borrow loans below market rates.”
Meanwhile European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi fuelled on Friday speculation of an imminent rate cut, warning of “serious downside risks” to the euro area economy while inflation was no threat.
However, with Spain’s borrowing costs hitting another record high despite a 100 billion-euro bank bailout, traders remain on edge.
Asian markets mostly rose on Friday and US stocks forged higher in early trade, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.44 percent to 12,707.61 points, while the broad-market S&P 500 climbed 0.51 per cent to 1,335.85 points and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite gained 0.35 per cent to 2,846.35 points.
“Place your bets. Yesterday’s and today’s trading is all about positioning ahead of Sunday’s elections in Greece and next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting,” said Dick Green at Briefing.com.
Green said stocks rallied “because traders are betting that European governments will take action after the election to prevent any adverse credit market impact from the possibility of Greece leaving the eurozone.
The gains followed those on Thursday, as poor jobs data sparked speculation that the US central bank would start a third round of stimulus known as quantitative easing in a bid to kickstart the world’s biggest economy.
“Sentiment seemed to strengthen on hopes that underwhelming data might compel the Fed to implement another round of quantitative easing when they meet next week,” said Briefing.com.
In Britain finance chief George Osborne and Bank of England governor Mervyn King said they would flood banks with billions of pounds in a bid to jump-start lending to households and businesses and fend off a potential storm from Europe.
But while investors absorbed the possibility of fresh cash in the system Europe’s troubles tempered sentiment.
On Thursday the interest rate on Spanish 10-year government bonds soared to 6.9650 per cent, the highest since the birth of the single currency in 1999, and close to the danger-zone 7.0 per cent considered unsustainable to service debts.from the gulf today.