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European stocks climb at end of volatile week

Published on July 23, 2021

European stocks rose Friday to close out a volatile week, helped by the eurozone’s economic recovery and ECB assurances of continued monetary support.

Asian equity markets closed earlier in the day with losses however as the Delta variant continued to cast a shadow across trading floors.

Wall Street was in the black meanwhile, as investors welcomed strong corporate results and adopted a positive long-term outlook.

“It’s been quite the tumultuous week,” noted Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

“Investors who panicked when global markets took a dive on Monday may now be regretting their decisions to dump holdings.”

Mould said attention would turn to next week’s Federal Reserve policy meeting, as traders search for clues to when central banks might raise interest rates to tame inflation.

The European Central Bank on Thursday said that while the eurozone was bouncing back strongly, it would maintain favourable monetary policies until at least the end of March 2022, or until officials feel “the coronavirus crisis phase is over”.

Business activity in the eurozone shot up at its fastest rate in 21 years in July, a closely watched survey said Friday, as the economy went into full throttle with loosened Covid-19 restrictions.

But the survey also showed that the coronavirus’s dominant Delta variant was starting to chip away at business confidence, with concern growing that new measures could again sow chaos in business activity.

The eurozone PMI composite index from economic data group IHS Markit said activity rose from 59.5 in June to a strong 60.6 in July, well above the 50-point level that indicates growth.

– Key figures around 1620 GMT –

New York – Dow: UP 0.6 percent at 35,022.78 points

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.2 percent at 4,109.10

London – FTSE 100: UP 0.9 percent at 7,027.58 (close)

Frankfurt – DAX 30: UP 1.0 percent at 15,669.29 (close)

Paris – CAC 40: UP 1.4 percent at 6,568.82 (close)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: DOWN 1.5 percent at 27,321.98 (close)

Shanghai – Composite: DOWN 0.7 percent at 3,550.40 (close)

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1764 from $1.1772 at 2020 GMT

Euro/pound: UP at 85.55 pence from 85.49 pence

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3752 from $1.3766

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.52 yen from 110.18 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.1 percent at $73.89 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $71.92 per barrel