LONDON: European stock markets rebounded yesterday as fears eased over any imminent Western intervention in Syria and investors switched focus to a possible mega sale in the telecoms sector.
With oil prices retreating after recent large gains, share prices of energy majors also cooled.
Airlines recovered some ground from losses in recent days when jet fuel costs had surged on prospects that Syria’s escalating conflict could disrupt Middle East energy supplies.
London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index ended the day 0.82 percent higher at 6,483.05 points. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 added 0.45 percent to 8,194.55 points and the CAC 40 in Paris rose 0.65 percent to 3,986.35 points. Milan closed up 0.97 percent and Madrid increased 0.40 percent.
“They say 24 hours is a long time in politics, and with the chances of military action against Syria shifting from being imminent to one of the possible courses of action, this would appear to confirm this,” IG analyst Alastair McCaig said.
“Subsequently, European equity markets have also taken the opportunity to retrace some of the week’s earlier losses,” he said.
The dollar rose to 98.45 yen from 97.63 yen late in New York on Wednesday. The European single currency slipped to $1.3232 from $1.3338 the previous day.
Sterling firmed against the euro, with one pound being valued at ¤1.1711 from ¤1.16 on Wednesday, as well as against the dollar, strengthening to $1.5594 from $1.5516.
The Turkish lira and stocks which have fallen heavily recently in line with pressure on several emerging markets, steadied on prospects that any tightening of US monetary policy would be delayed by tension over Syria.
On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold slipped to $1,407.75 an ounce from $1,419.50 on Wednesday, when the precious metal had won further support thanks to its status as a safe investment in times of political and economic unrest.
In company news, shares in Carrefour rose 5.6 percent to ¤24.06 on the Paris stock exchange after the supermarket giant said it swung to a profit in the first half of the year.
Shares in Renault climbed 0.36 percent to ¤55.24 after the car group announced the departure of its number two, Carlos Tavares.
On Wall Street, stocks were higher after data showed the US economy growing much faster than originally estimated in the second-quarter.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.54 percent, the broad-based S&P 500 slipped 0.67 percent, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 1.13 percent.
On the sovereign bonds market, yields were mixed. The rate of return for investors on Britain’s 10-year government bond fell to 2.77 percent and 10-year US bonds rose to 2.78 percent. The yield on Germany’s 10-year bonds were flat at 1.87 percent. AFP