European stocks rise as investors eye G20

European equities rose Friday, mirroring gains in Asia, before the conclusion of this week's G20 summit, and ahead of IMF and World Bank spring meetings focused on global economic strains.

In late morning deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies rose 0.26 percent to 6,259.87 points.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 index gained 0.31 percent to 7,496.87 points and in Paris the CAC 40 won 0.86 percent to 3,630.85 points.

The European single currency firmed to $1.3088 from $1.3049 late in New York on Thursday. The greenback rose to 99.10 yen from 128.09 yen.

"Equity markets ramped up small gains ... showing a recovery from yesterday's mediocre performance," said analyst Brenda Kelly at traders IG.

"The cautious sentiment seems to be hinged on a positive outcome from the meeting of finance leaders in Washington today."

Markets were enjoying a brighter end to the week, which started with a sell-off after China released worse-than-forecast growth data that raised concerns about the strength of the world's number-two economy.

But investors drew strength from Asia on Friday, where markets rose as dealers kept an eye on the G20 gathering of world central bank and finance chiefs in Washington.

"It's a bright start of the last trading session this week, with investors inspired by Asia," said Gekko Markets trader Anita Paluch.

"The economic calendar is rather empty today, apart from G20 and IMF meetings."

At the G20 meet, which concludes later Friday, Japan is expected to try to reassure other finance ministers and central bank governors that it is not intentionally weakening its yen with recent easing measures.

The Bank of Japan this month unleashed a huge stimulus package to kickstart its economy and bring an end to years of deflation. However, the move has led some to claim Tokyo is looking to give its exporters a trade advantage.

Analysts said the G20 was unlikely to voice major concern over Japan's new policy.

"The G20 meeting is unlikely to create much activity in the markets," noted analyst Craig Erlam at traders Alpari.

"We're probably going to see a very similar statement to the last, with the G20 committing to not using monetary policy to depreciate their respective currencies, while highlighting that they support Japan's efforts to overcome deflation.

"What this essentially means is that Japan will continue to depreciate the yen in the short term, however their actions are being monitored closely."

Equities won back ground on Friday at the end of a tough week for global equities and commodities, with investors brushing off a second straight loss on Wall Street, while gold prices also continued to recover.

Hong Kong stocks rallied 2.33 percent and Shanghai jumped 2.14 percent, while Tokyo rose 0.73 percent, Seoul was 0.35 percent higher and Sydney climbed 0.15 percent.

Gold rallied to $1,417.19 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,393.75 on Thursday.

The precious metal had struck a two-year low at $1,321.95 on Tuesday after news of weaker-than-expected first-quarter economic growth in key commodity consumer China.

Back on the London stock market, the mining sector rebounded from sharp losses earlier this week that were sparked by the poor Chinese data.

Vedanta Resources rallied 4.61 percent to 1,135 pence, Randgold Resources won 2.77 percent to 4,741 pence and Evraz gained 2.23 percent to 159.8 pence.

Anglo American's share price rose 1.44 percent to 1584.5 pence, despite news that the miner's platinum production fell two percent in the first quarter of 2013.


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