European stocks, euro climb before IMF meeting

European stock markets and the euro were firmer on Friday after solid business confidence data from Germany and as investors looked ahead to a key IMF meeting and weekend French elections.

At closing, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of top companies fell 0.48 percent at 5,772.15 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 rose 1.18 percent to 6,750.12 points and in Paris the CAC 40 gained 0.46 percent to 3,188.58 points.

Madrid rallied 2.01 percent and Milan 0.80 percent.

In foreign exchange trading, the euro firmed to $1.3211 from $1.3134 in New York late Thursday.

Wall Street shares also rose with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.84 percent at around 1600 GMT, the broader S&P 500 gaining 0.69 percent and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rising 0.67 percent.

"With no major US economic data scheduled to be released, all eyes will be on the IMF and World Bank meeting in Washington starting today," said ETX Capital trader Markus Huber.

"While ahead of the meeting several countries have pledged substantial funds to increase the firepower of the IMF, there are still other important countries like Brazil and the UK who are not quite as forthcoming.

"Ongoing hesitation and wrangling about who should contribute what and how much might not prove very constructive as investors patience's could run out rather sooner than later."

IMF head Christine Lagarde said on Thursday that the crisis lender would get a significant boost to its intervention capacity this week as worries mounted that Spain might be the next eurozone country to seek a rescue.

Warning that "dark clouds" still hover over the global economy, she expressed confidence that International Monetary Fund members meeting in Washington would put up the funds needed for a "global firewall."

Traders said optimism came from a resilient Germany where business confidence beat expectations to rise for the sixth month in a row in April.

The Ifo economic institute's closely watched business climate index edged up to 109.9 points in April from 109.8 points in March, defying analysts' expectations for a slight decline.

It is the sixth month in a row that the barometer has risen and it now stands at its highest level since July 2011.

"The latest renewed increase ... signals once again that one should not underestimate the German economy and its resilience towards adverse effects," UniCredit economist Andreas Rees said.

"Despite the renewed flaring up of concerns about the European debt crisis, (German) companies have been steering the course," the analyst said.

Worries that Spain might be the next country to seek a bailout sparked new turmoil across the fragile eurozone and stung markets over the past week.

On Thursday, Madrid scraped through a key bond market test but failed to quash doubts over its future finances as the cost of its borrowing was pushed toward the 6.0 percent level seen as unsustainable.

The frontrunner in the race for the French presidency, Socialist candidate Francois Hollande, meanwhile Friday urged the European Central Bank to lower its interest rate to support growth.

France goes to the polls on Sunday to choose two candidates to contest a second-round presidential run-off on May 6. Hollande is the opinion poll favourite, on course to oust right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy.

Asian markets were subdued on Friday with Tokyo down 0.28 percent and Hong Kong and Sydney ending flat.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Indonesia informs drug convicts of execution
    Indonesia informs drug convicts of execution

    Indonesia said Saturday it had officially notified eight foreign drug convicts that they will be executed, prompting an appeal from United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to spare the prisoners and suspend the death penalty. A Frenchman also on death row for drug-related crimes was granted a temporary reprieve after Paris stepped up pressure on Jakarta. The eight -- from Australia, Brazil, Nigeria and the Philippines -- have been transported to the high-security prison island of Nusakambangan where …

  • UN chief urges Indonesia to spare drug convicts from execution
    UN chief urges Indonesia to spare drug convicts from execution

    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon appealed to Indonesia on Saturday to spare from impending execution a group of 10 death-row drug convicts, most of them foreigners. "The Secretary General appeals to the government of Indonesia to refrain from carrying out the execution, as announced, of 10 prisoners on death row for alleged drug-related crimes," a spokesman for Ban said. Earlier Saturday, Indonesia said it had officially notified eight foreign nationals convicted of drug crimes -- from …

  • AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys
    AFP monitoring deployment of Chinese seaplanes in Spratlys

    The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is adopting a wait and see approach amid reports that China will soon deploy seaplanes to further strengthen its maritime claims in the disputed Spratlys. Brig. Gen. Joselito Kakilala, spokesman for the military and commander of the AFP Civil Relations Service, said they have yet to ascertain the real purpose behind China’s continuing aggressive moves in the region. “We will wait and see before coming up with an official stand,” Kakilala said when …

  • US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations
    US eyes access to Phl bases in 8 locations

    The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington’s next phase in its Asia “pivot,” deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia “pivot” has already seen US Marines rotating through the …

  • Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions
    Washington bucks China’s aggressive actions

    Short of condemning China’s aggressive actions in the West Philippine Sea, a senior US military official said Washington does not support any act of coercion and bullying. “We don’t stand for coercion, bullying and aggressiveness,” said Brig. Gen. Christopher Mahoney, assistant US military director for  Phl-US Joint Balikatan Exercises 2015. At the sidelines of this year’s joint military exercises’ static aircraft display held at Clark Air Base in Pampanga, Mahoney told a media briefing that …

  • ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’
    ‘Giving Bangsamoro police control is constitutional’

    The proposed grant to the chief minister of the envisioned Bangsamoro region of operational control over police forces in the area is consistent with the Constitution, a senior administration lawmaker said yesterday. Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City in Cavite made the statement to allay the fears of his colleagues that the proposal, contained in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), would violate the Charter. It is clear in the proposed BBL that the Bangsamoro police will be part …

  • Noy off to KL for Asean meet
    Noy off to KL for Asean meet

    President Aquino will arrive here this afternoon with Manila hopeful of support from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to achieve peace and stability in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) as well as economic prosperity and inclusive growth among the people in the region. Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia Jose Eduardo Malaya III said that with respect to the dramatic developments in the South China Sea, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had called for the early …

  • Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food
    Madrid Fusion Manila reignites Pinoy appetite for great food

    After months of preparation and hard work from both the government and private sectors, the future of food is finally here in the country’s capital. Madrid Fusión Manila opened its doors on Friday to an international delegation who eagerly awaited the discussions of some of the most renowned and revered names in the culinary world. Madrid Fusión Manila is a historic gastronomic event marked by talks and exhibitions that showcases Spain and the Philippines’ shared cultural heritage, as well as …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options