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European stocks end higher

European stocks end higher

European shares advanced Friday on hopes that possible action on interest rates and mortgage insurance could help limit the damage to the global economy from problems in the U.S. housing sector.
The U.K. FTSE-100 rose 1.5 percent to 6,303.30, the German DAX-30 gained 1.6 percent to 7,638.17 and the French CAC-40 gained 1.3 percent to 5,662.70.
They were led by companies with ties to the commodities sector, like steelmaker ArcelorMittal, mining giant Rio Tinto and oil producer Royal Dutch Shell. ArcelorMittal rose 2.8 percent, Rio Tinto gained 3.7 percent and Royal Dutch Shell added 1.4 percent.
U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank will be paying "particularly close attention to the timeliest indicators" to assess how the recent credit crisis and financial market turmoil is affecting the real economy.
Drew Matus, an economist at Lehman Brothers, said the speech didn't commit to any rate action, but Bernanke showed the Fed wasn't "out of touch."
Also, the Bush administration announced a plan to help stem mortgage defaults.
Shares in French luxury-goods firm PPR advanced 4.1 percent after saying that its first-half net income nearly tripled following strong performance from luxury brands Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent and YSL Beaute.
"We can assume that the positive momentum in terms of earnings in the luxury goods division can continue," said Nathalie Longuet, an analyst at Societe Generale.
Media-to-telecoms group Vivendi fell 1.7 percent after reporting a below-forecast 11 percent rise in first-half adjusted profit and not lifted its annual profit view.
"As some of the market had speculated about the guidance forecast being raised upwards, this 'mere' confirmation could come as a disappointment," said analysts at Natixis.
Shares of Barclays rose 2.7 percent after recent losses. The U.K. bank poured US$1.6 billion into a struggling investment fund. The stock has dropped around 16 percent since early August.
Millennium BCP shares climbed 3.9 percent on a Portuguese television report that its chief executive, Paulo Teixerira Pinto, has quit. He has been in a power struggle with the bank's chairman after the firm failed to take control of Banco BPI earlier this year.
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Sarah Turner is a correspondent for Dow Jones Newswires.


Updated : 2021-04-17 16:23 GMT+08:00