The French market is rising on Friday, on speculation that central banks are prepared to inject cash in the event of an escalation in turmoil in the region after the elections in Greece on Sunday.
The fear is that if the leftist Syriza party led by Alexis Tsipras comes to power in Greece, the austerity measures that were tied to the bailout package for the debt-ridden nation may not take effect.
Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has said that the case for more stimulus is increasing amid deterioration in the economic outlook. "With signs of a deterioration in the outlook, especially in world markets, the case for a further monetary easing is growing," he said in a speech at the Mansion House on Thursday.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Friday that inflation expectations remain well anchored and there is no inflation risk in any euro area country. Political choices are dominating the monetary policy, Draghi said.
"Should risks to price stability emerge, the Eurosystem has sufficient tools at its disposal to absorb excess liquidity," Draghi said in a speech at the 14th ECB Watchers Conference in Frankfurt.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is adding 1.43 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is rising 0.67 percent.
The CAC 40 index is climbing 1.6 percent.
Steel giant ArcelorMittal is climbing 4.2 percent. Credit Agricole, Societe Generale and BNP Paribas are advancing between 4.1 percent and 2.5 percent.
Carrefour is rising 3.2 percent. The supermarket chain has decided to sell its ownership in the Carrefour Marinopoulos joint venture in Greece to Marinopoulos Group.
Peugeot is gaining 1.1 percent while Renault is adding 0.6 percent.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is adding 1 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is gaining 0.49 percent. Switzerland's SMI is adding 0.17 percent.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets ended higher. Australia's All Ordinaries added 0.4 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 2.3 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 ended nearly flat.
In the U.S., futures point to a higher open on Wall Street. In the previous session, the markets managed to end the day on the upside amid optimism about the likelihood of further stimulus. The Dow jumped 1.2 percent, the Nasdaq rose 0.6 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 1.1 percent.
In the commodity space, crude for July delivery is adding $0.51 to $84.42 per barrel and August gold is rising $5.2 to $1624.8 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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