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Europe: Stocks rise in light holiday trade


[LONDON] Europe's stock markets rose Thursday in light holiday trade, after US stocks climbed higher following a mixed batch of US economic data and corporate earnings.

Trading was subdued in Europe owing to a public holiday in Germany and France, but the markets remained open.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading companies closed up 0.34 per cent to 6,973.04 points.

In Paris, the CAC 40 rose 1.36 per cent to 5,029.31 points, while the DAX 30 in Frankfurt climbed 1.84 per cent to 11,559.82 points compared with Wednesday's close.

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The euro meanwhile rallied to a three-month peak at US$1.1445, before slipping to US$1.1363, which was still up from US$1.1354 late in New York on Wednesday, extending gains on bright eurozone economic growth data.

"The US stock markets have surged today, tracking gains seen across Europe. It is not clear why sentiment has turned this bullish all of a sudden, but the unexpected drop in the weekly jobless claims to 264,000 may have been a factor," said Fawad Razaqzada, technical analyst at

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.87 per cent to 18,217.11 points in mid-day trades in New York.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.75 per cent to 2,114.14, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index won 0.97 per cent to 5,030.03.

US economic data showed a modest decline in weekly jobless claims, but an unexpected 0.4 per cent drop in producer prices in April.

"The US Department of Labor's monthly release of the latest producer price index has badly underperformed, not only failing to meet expectations but showing contraction as well. It will be interesting to see how the markets take this continuingly disappointing US data," said Alastair McCaig, market analyst at IG Market.

On Thursday, Asian equities mostly retreated following the set of below-forecast US data on Wednesday.

Tokyo's Nikkei index was the biggest loser of Asia's major markets Thursday as the yen climbed against the dollar.

Tokyo sank 0.98 per cent and Sydney eased 0.33 per cent, while Seoul added 0.29 per cent, Hong Kong climbed 0.14 per cent and Shanghai was slightly higher.