European stocks hold on to gains

December 07, 2012 - 1:24:20 am

LONDON: European stock markets held on to gains but the euro turned sharply lower yeterday after the European Central Bank said a decision to leave its key rate unchanged was not unanimous.

In Britain, the Bank of England also froze its record-low interest rate in a widely expected move one day after the British government extended austerity measures and slashed growth forecasts.

At close in Europe, London’s FTSE 100 index of leading companies edged up by 0.16 percent to 5,901.42 points while in Frankfurt, the DAX 30 rallied 1.07 percent to its highest level since January 2008 at 7,534.54 points and in Paris the CAC 40 finished at a year high, up 0.31 percent to 3,601.65 points.

In foreign exchange deals, the euro slumped to $1.2970 from $1.3064 in New York on Wednesday and gold prices were stable at $1,694.25 an ounce on the London Bullion Market

US stocks also moved higher. In midday trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.13 percent, the S&P 500 gained 0.26 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.67 percent.

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