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Global stocks rally at end of volatile week

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Global stock markets rebounded Friday, recovering some of the heavy losses sustained earlier this week on worries about President Donald Trump's growth agenda in the wake of burgeoning investigations of the White House.

[NEW YORK] Global stock markets rebounded Friday, recovering some of the heavy losses sustained earlier this week on worries about President Donald Trump's growth agenda in the wake of burgeoning investigations of the White House.

US and European stocks finished solidly higher, while bourses in Hong Kong and Japan mustered modest gains.

The rally suggested investors were eager to jump in and take advantage of depressed prices.

Wall Street stocks spent the entire session in the green, boosted in part by higher oil prices that lifted energy shares.

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Analysts also cited a relatively placid day news flow for much of Friday after a number of shocking stories involving Mr Trump in the last week over the firing of FBI director James Comey and allegations the president disclosed highly sensitive intelligence to Russian officials.

US stocks stayed pulled back a bit, but stayed in positive territory, after a pair of Friday afternoon stories on Trump.

The Washington Post reported that the FBI is investigating a "significant person of interest" in the White House, bringing the probe closer to Mr Trump himself.

At around the same time, The New York Times reported that Mr Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a meeting the day after sacking Comey that firing the FBI chief relieved "great pressure" on him caused by the Russia investigation.

The S&P 500 finished up 0.7 per cent at 2,381.73.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 0.5 per cent higher. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 won 0.4 per cent and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.7 per cent.

Oil prices rose ahead of next week's Opec meeting, lifting US prices back above the psychologically important US$50 a barrel level.

The dollar was back in negative territory against the euro and other major currencies.

Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management, attributed the greenback's retreat to uncertainty about Trump.

"The investigation into the ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian influence sparked talk of impeachment," Ms Lien said.

"While this may be wishful thinking for some, the real implication will be on the President's ability to push through his pro-growth policies and that's where the political trade becomes an economic one."

AFP

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