European stock markets have ended the week on a high note, with Frankfurt’s blue-chip DAX 30 index breaking above the 7000-point level on a eurozone defence by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Nanjing Night Net

The DAX gained 0.64 per cent to close at 7040.88 points after already breaking briefly through the key level on Thursday for the first time since early April.

Banking stocks led the German gains after Merkel said in Canada on Thursday that she backed European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s position on making sure the euro would not fail.

Commerzbank jumped 3.27 per cent to 1.26 euros and Deutsche Bank was 3.53 per cent higher at 26.72 euros.

As head of Europe’s biggest economy, Merkel is key to the success of any plan to save the 17-member eurozone.

‘‘Her backing of the ECB’s crisis fighting strategy revived the expectations that policymakers will actually get together to sort out the problems the eurozone has been facing in an efficient way and helped the markets to shake off the painful low volatility and improve the risk sentiment,’’ Gekko Markets analyst Anita Paluch said.

Elsewhere, London’s FTSE 100 index was up 0.32 per cent at 5,852.42 points on Friday, while in Paris the CAC 40 added 0.23 per cent to 3,488.38 points.

Despite weak sessions on Monday and Wednesday, the DAX posted a five-day gain of 1.39 per cent, while the FTSE 100 rose by a modest 0.09 per cent.In one-day trading on Friday, Milan climbed by 1.30 per cent, while Madrid rallied 1.94 per cent on comments by Spanish officials that it will soon request a first payment for its deeply troubled banks from an emergency eurozone rescue line.

‘‘Markets continue to drift higher on expectations of the prospect of additional central bank easing, with trading volumes remaining well below seasonal averages,’’ said Michael Hewson, senior analyst at trading group CMC Markets.

‘‘The absence of any good news has failed to dampen expectations; if anything it has reinforced the expectation that the authorities will take the necessary action to mitigate any problems in the coming weeks.’’

On the downside, shares in Lonmin, the world’s third-largest platinum producer, slid in London as violence at a Lonmin mine in South Africa resulted in the killing of at least 44 people. Lonmin shares lost 1.62 per cent to 637.48 pence on London’s second tier FTSE 250 index.

Violence has pitted workers against police following a wildcat strike at the platinum mine.

The illegal walk-out began a week ago and quickly descended into deadly clashes, first between rival unions and then between workers and police.

As the death toll mounted on Friday, President Jacob Zuma cut short a visit to neighbouring Mozambique for a regional summit and flew to Rustenburg, the town nearest the mine.


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