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A man looks at a stock index board outside a brokerage in Tokyo, yesterday. Japan’s Nikkei share average rose as a sharp drop in the yen gave a boost to exporters and raised expectations for upbeat earnings forecasts for the next fiscal year beginning in April.
LONDON: European stock markets advanced yesterday, with Frankfurt hitting a five-year high, as the euro rallied against the dollar following positive German data that helped to offset more woe for Britain.
Frankfurt’s DAX 30 jumped 1.42 percent to 7,857.97 points, its highest level since the 2008 global financial crisis, as data showed German business confidence rising to a seven-month high in January. In the Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.69 percent to reach 3,778.16 points.
Meanwhile London’s FTSE 100 index of top companies managed a gain of 0.31 percent to 6,284.45 points, despite official figures revealing that Britain’s economy is again on the brink of recession after contracting in the final quarter of 2012. If Britain’s economy shrink again in the current first quarter, the country will officially enter its third recession since 2008.
In foreign exchange trade, the European single currency surged to an 11-month high of $1.3479. It later eased back to $1.3457, still up compared with $1.3376 late on Thursday in New York.
The euro also spiked after the European Central Bank revealed that 278 eurozone banks will repay early ¤137.16bn of ultra-cheap three-year loans made available to them last year through emergency liquidity measures.
Elsewhere, the British pound hit 13-month lows versus the European single currency following the the release of the poor growth data.
On the London Bullion Market meanwhile, gold prices eased to $1,660 an ounce from $1,671.
Germany appears to have put the worst of the region’s debt crisis behind it, data showed yesterday, with business confidence rising to its highest level in seven months.
The Ifo institute’s closely watched business climate index for Europe’s top economy rose to 104.2 points in January — its highest reading since June — from 102.4 points a month earlier.
Nikkei, Dow gain
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei surged to close up 2.88 percent at 10,926.65 points, to a near three-year high on the back of a weaker yen, traders said.
The yen resumed its downtrend after a brief rally as Japan’s vice finance minister indicated that the country’s new hawkish government would step in to stop the currency from returning to record highs against the dollar.
US stocks opened moved higher, helped by Procter & Gamble’s 3.8 percent gain after it beat quarterly earnings estimates and raised its outlook for 2013. Positive quarterly reports from Oshkosh (+15.2 percent) and Halliburton (+5.0 percent) also underpinned the fresh rally.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.26 percent to 13,860.73 points after five minutes of trading. The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.19 percent to 1,497.60 points, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.31 percent to 3,140.15 points. AFP