The French market is notably higher in afternoon trading Friday, following firm cues from Asia/Pacific, after some positive news emerged from the two-day summit of European Union leaders underway in Brussels.
The leaders have agreed to make use of Eurozone's bailout funds to recapitalize the region's banks directly once an effective single supervisory mechanism is established, relieving the governments of the burden of bailing out troubled lenders. The European Commission will present proposals for a single supervisory mechanism soon.
EU President Herman Van Rompuy said the leaders have approved a 120 billion-euro package to promote growth in the debt-stricken eurozone as well as across the broader 27-nation European Union. The leaders also discussed ways to reduce the high borrowing costs faced by Spain and Italy.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is climbing 2.68 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is falling 1.33 percent.
The CAC 40 index is advancing 2.65 percent.
BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale are gaining between 5.2 percent and 3.9 percent. Insurer Axa is gaining 3.9 percent.
Alstom and Cap Gemini are gaining 4.4 percent each. Schneider Electric is rising 3.9 percent.
Vivendi is up 2.2 percent after Chief Executive Officer Jean-Bernard Lévy resigned Thursday, following strategy differences with the Supervisory Board. JPMorgan and Nomura upgraded the stock.
Peugeot and Renault are gaining 2.4 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively.
Elsewhere in Europe, the German DAX is climbing 2.40 percent and the UK's FTSE 100 is rising 1.3 percent. Switzerland's SMI is adding 0.94 percent.
In economic news, retail sales in Germany decreased for a second consecutive month in May, the latest figures from the Federal Statistical Office showed. Sales fell 0.3 percent month-on-month in real terms in May, following a 0.2 percent decline in the previous month.
Eurozone annual inflation remained unchanged at 2.4 percent in June, flash estimate issued by Eurostat showed. The outcome was in line with economists' expectations.
Across Asia/Pacific, major markets closed firmly in positive territory. Australia's All Ordinaries added 1.2 percent, China's Shanghai Composite Index gained 1.4 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 2.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 1.5 percent.
In the U.S., futures point to a firm start on Wall Street. In the previous session, major markets closed lower, amid concerns about Europe and a negative reaction to the Supreme Court's decision to uphold President Obama's healthcare reform law, including the law's individual insurance mandate. The Nasdaq ended down 0.9 percent, while the Dow and the S&P 500 edged down 0.2 percent each.
In the commodity space, crude for August delivery is adding $2.28 to $79.97 per barrel and August gold is climbing $19.3 at $1569.7 a troy ounce.
by RTT Staff Writer
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