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Update: Europe: Stocks climb on Fed, miners

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Europe's major stock markets advanced Friday after gains across Asia and on Wall Street thanks to growing hints that US interest rates will not rise until next year.

[LONDON] Europe's major stock markets advanced Friday after gains across Asia and on Wall Street thanks to growing hints that US interest rates will not rise until next year.

Shares in mining companies meanwhile surged as an announcement from Glencore that it will slash zinc production sent metals prices surging.

The Federal Reserve last month postponed a move to hike US interest rates as it worried about a global slowdown, concerns over the strong dollar and listless US inflation, minutes from the meeting revealed Thursday.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.79 per cent to stand at 6,424.90 points approaching midday in the capital.

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European indices were higher "thanks to another positive US close which spilled over into Asia, extending recent gains as investors add to risky bets on expectations of prolonged easy monetary policy", said Mike van Dulken, head of research at trading group Accendo Markets.

Fed policymakers at their September meeting mulled an increase in the zero-level US federal funds rate but took a cautious approach after a severe bout of financial turmoil unsettled the outlook for the world's biggest economy, the minutes showed.

Also on Thursday, the Bank of England revealed that it would keep its main interest rate at the record-low 0.5 per cent, where it has stood for six-and-a-half years to support growth.

And in minutes of its last meeting, the European Central Bank reiterated its commitment to its bond-buying stimulus programme, while adding that more time was needed to assess the impact of a slowdown in China and other emerging markets.

In the eurozone Friday, Frankfurt's DAX 30 stocks index rallied 1.0 per cent compared with Thursday's close to 10,094.89 points and the Paris CAC 40 won 0.86 per cent to trade at 4,716.07 around midday.

The euro climbed to US$1.1327 from US$1.1275, with the Fed seemingly not rushing to hike US borrowing costs before the end of the year.

"Rate-setters from the UK to Europe to the US have voiced concerns over the slowdown in emerging markets and the drop in commodity prices," Jasper Lawler, analyst at CMC Markets UK, wrote in a client note Friday.

Mining and commodities giant Glencore, weighed down by debt as it struggles against a commodity price crash, announced Friday it is slashing its worldwide output of zinc by one third.

The Swiss-based company said jobs would be lost.

Glencore shares surged 7.17 per cent to 129.30 pence, while rivals Anglo American jumped 5.42 per cent and Rio Tinto won 3.0 per cent.

"A zinc output cut from Glencore drove metal prices higher while dovish Fed minutes caused a drop in the dollar, increasing the value of commodities," said Mr Lawler.

AFP

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