Sun, Nov 07, 2004 - Page 10 News List

European markets close higher after good news from US


European stock markets pushed higher on Friday as investors cheered better-than-expected US jobs figures, but gains were capped as oil prices rose and the euro hit a new high against the dollar.

The London FTSE 100 index won 0.24 percent to 4,739.8 points, its highest closing level since June 17, 2002.

In Frankfurt the DAX 30 climbed 0.55 percent to 4,063.58, slightly below a six-month high set in midday trade, while in Paris the CAC 40 advanced 0.49 percent to 3,780.99.

The DJ Euro STOXX 50 index of leading eurozone shares rose 0.53 percent to 2,874.80 points.

The euro stood at US$1.2941 after setting a new record at US$1.2952 in late trades.

As European markets closed, the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 top stocks had gained 0.74 percent. On oil markets, New York's main oil contract, light sweet crude for delivery in December, rose by US$0.48 to US$49.30 in early deals.

In London the price of Brent North Sea crude oil for December delivery won US$0.39 to US$46.40 a barrel in late trading.

"Arafat's ill health is adding tension and underpinning prices ahead of the weekend," Informa Global Markets analyst Peter Luxton said.

Earlier, stocks had gotten a boost from a US Labor Department report which showed a surprising 337,000 jobs created last month and prompted investors to set aside doubts about the world's largest economy.

"These were blow-out numbers, beating even the most optimistic projections," said Bob O'Brien, managing director and head equity trader at Evergreen Investments.

"It indicates the economy is picking up steam. On top of the job growth, we should have revenue and earnings growth leading to higher stock prices," he said.

In London shares in Standard Chartered rose 1.95 percent to ?10.215 as bid speculation surrounded the emerging markets bank, dealers said.

An article in the Financial Times claimed a dispute between the company and its largest shareholder had renewed questions about the future of the London-based bank.

In Frankfurt Allianz rose 2.54 percent to 89.31 euros after Swiss bank UBS upgraded its stance on the stock to "buy" from "neutral," expecting a positive contribution from all of Allianz's four divisions next year.

In Amsterdam, the AEX index rose 0.84 percent to 336.36, the Swiss SMI was up 1.16 percent to 5,614.5, in Milan the MIB 30 gained 0.40 percent to 29,330, in Madrid the IBEX-35 was 0.43 percent higher at 8,570.60 and in Brussels the BEL-20 closed up 0.40 percent at 2,838.99.

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