European stocks rose sharply on Friday, extending the previous session's rally, after data showed German exports increased unexpectedly in July, while France's budget deficit narrowed in the first seven months of the year.
Another report released by the U.K. Office for National Statistical Office showed that U.K. industrial output rose 2.9 percent month-over-month in July, reversing all of the 2.4 percent drop in June. Economists expected a more modest 1.5 percent increase.
With the ECB's bond-buying plan keeping the underlying mood upbeat, investors are looking forward to U.S. employment data later in the global day for fresh cues from Federal Reserve on possible policy action.
Asian stocks rose sharply today, with Chinese and Hong Kong shares climbing 3-4 percent after Beijing unveiled massive infrastructure investment plans to support the economy. U.S. stock futures are also rising, signaling the Standard & Poor's 500 index will extend yesterday's biggest rally since 2008.
The Euro Stoxx 50 index of eurozone bluechip stocks is moving up 1.26 percent, while the Stoxx Europe 50 index, which includes some major U.K. companies, is gaining marginally. Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100, Switzerland's SMI, the German DAX and France's CAC 40 are rising between 0.2 percent and 1.1 percent.
In stock-specific action, Deutsche Bank is climbing 5.6 percent in Frankfurt amid reports that the bank plans to eliminate more jobs than previously planned. Rival Commerzbank is rallying 6.4 percent.
Shares of Air France-KLM are climbing 3 percent in Paris after the Franco-Dutch airline reported slight increases in passenger traffic and capacity for August, mainly benefiting from increased business in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. However, all regions recorded sharp decline in cargo traffic.
Shares of Deutsche Post are down 3.6 percent after Germany's state-owned development and infrastructure bank KfW Bankengruppe, the largest shareholder of the German postal and logistics firm, said it would cut its holding in Deutsche Post by 5 percent.
Glencore International shares are down 4 percent in London after the Swiss mining company raised its offer for miner Xstrata Plc.
by RTT Staff Writer
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