European stocks rise after Japanese spending plan

European stock markets rose modestly on Friday as traders booked profits after recent strong gains and reacted to a stimulus package in Japan.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies posting the largest increase of 0.33 percent to 6,121.58 points.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 added a slight 0.09 percent to 7,715.53 points, while in Paris the CAC 40 edged up by 0.08 percent to 3,706.02 points.

"The early advances seen across European markets, on the back of news Japan's government has advocated a $116 billion (87-billion-euro) stimulus package, have been tempered by end-of-week profit taking as the FTSE 100 climbed to its highest level since February 2011 on Thursday," said CMC Markets trader Nick Dale-Lace.

The European single currency climbed to $1.3274 from $1.3261 late in New York on Thursday. Sterling was sharply down against the euro and dollar following poor British manufacturing data, dealers said.

The yen meanwhile tumbled against rival currencies after Japan's new leaders unveiled a stimulus package worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The dollar climbed to 89.89 yen at one point in Tokyo -- the highest level since June 2010.

The euro also surged to 118.59 yen in Tokyo trading, the highest since May 2011.

On the London Bullion Market, the price of gold rose to $1,669.20 an ounce from $1,675 on Thursday.

Asian stock markets meanwhile mostly closed lower on Friday after the previous day's gains but Tokyo hit a 23-month high as the yen sank further in the wake of Japan's stimulus package.

While the yen came under fresh selling pressure after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe outlined his economy-boosting plan, the euro was lifted also by unexpectedly positive comments about the eurozone by European Central Bank head Mario Draghi.

Among a long list of positives, he pointed to lower bond yields, higher stock prices, record-low volatility, strong inflows into the eurozone, a halt of capital flight in peripheral countries and a reduction of the ECB's balance sheet.

"If you look at the overall landscape taking, let's say, a medium-term perspective...you will see a significant improvement in financial market conditions," Draghi said on Thursday after the ECB left eurozone interest rates on hold.

Draghi added that the debt crisis was not yet over, but added that while the overriding fear last year had been one of "contagion" and that the crisis would deepen and spread, there was also "positive contagion when things go well."

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9327-0.0005-0.05%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5555-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6753-0.0003-0.05%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg