European stock markets rebound strongly after EU deal

Global markets have been volatile for weeks over trade war fears
AFP

London (AFP) – European stock markets rebounded strongly on Friday after the EU struck a deal on migration.

London was boosted also by a slight upward revision to first-quarter growth, with the benchmark FTSE 100 gaining 0.8 percent in late morning deals.

In the eurozone, Frankfurt’s DAX 30 advanced 1.2 percent and the Paris CAC 40 rallied 1.2 percent compared with Thursday’s closing levels.

Milan climbed 1.5 percent and Madrid won 1.1 percent.

The euro jumped to $1.1645, also on news that eurozone inflation has risen to 2.0 percent, increasing expectations of an end to the European Central Bank’s stimulus programme in December.

“A boost to eurozone stability has helped drive the euro and European stocks higher, with a deal over immigration at the EU summit helping alleviate fears over an immigration-based breakdown in German political stability,” noted Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG trading group. 

“Trade war fears remain evident, yet for Europe at least… there is reason to be relieved for today at least.”

EU leaders clinched a hard-won migration deal during all-night talks that Italy’s hardline new premier said meant his country was “no longer alone” in shouldering the responsibility for migrants.

The leaders also offered a concession to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who faces a rebellion from within her own coalition government, with moves to stop migrants registered in Italy and other EU countries from moving to Germany.

– Positive end to quarter –

Also heading into the weekend, Asian stock markets mostly closed higher at the end to a tumultuous quarter for global equities, with China-US trade tensions showing no sign of calming.

Trading floors have witnessed heavy selling in the past three months, as the two biggest economies exchanged threats of tariffs on billions of dollars of imports, fuelling fears for global growth.

An increasing source of concern for many investors is China, where the main stock market is in bear territory after losing more than 20 percent from a recent peak and the yuan continues to struggle.

Many analysts warn any trade war with the US would likely hurt Beijing more, with growth in the Asian giant already showing signs of slowing this quarter and authorities looking to provide support.

That comes just as the US perks up with the Federal Reserve expected to press ahead with interest rate hikes this year and next, and expansion likely to impress further.

The ongoing US strength “implies that the Fed will keep hiking rates because it will need to”, said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader.

“It implies that bonds will continue to have an upward bias, it implies that earnings for US companies should do OK, and it implies that the US will stand out as an investment destination as the de-synchronisation of global growth sees other blocs and nations lag behind,” he added.

Elsewhere Friday, oil prices diverged after surging over the week on tighter output concerns despite OPEC and Russia agreeing to pump out more crude.

Bitcoin hit a seven-month low at $5,791.19.

– Key figures around 0930 GMT –

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.8 percent at 7,673.87 points 

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.2 percent at 12,325.80

Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.2 percent at 5,340.55

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.3 percent at 3,409.91

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 22,304.51 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng: UP 1.6 percent at 28,955.11 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: UP 2.2 percent at 2,847.42 (close)

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.9 percent at 7,680.36

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1645 from $1.1564 at 2030 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3151 from $1.3076

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.66 yen from 110.53 yen

Oil – Brent Crude: UP 71 cents at $78.56 per barrel

Oil – West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 20 cents at $73.25

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