The Latest: European markets close higher after tough week

AP News
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Posted: Feb 12, 2016 12:24 PM
The Latest: European markets close higher after tough week

LONDON (AP) — The latest on the turmoil in global financial markets (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

European stock markets have closed higher after a hugely turbulent week.

Germany's DAX index ended the day up 2.5 percent at 8,967.51 while Britain's FTSE 100 gained 3.1 percent to 5,707.60. France's CAC 40 ended 2.5 percent higher at 3,995.06.

Bank shares led the way on Friday, with Deutsche Bank rallying 11.8 percent after saying it would buy back over $5 billion worth of its own bonds. Commerzbank jumped 18 percent after it announced its first dividend since 2007.

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3:20 p.m.

Friday looks set to be an up-day in European stock markets, providing a welcome respite for many traders at the end of what's been an extremely volatile week.

With a little more than one hour of trading to go, the Stoxx 500 index of European shares is up 1.9 percent at 309.48. For the overall week, though, European stocks are down sharply.

That's the case also with U.S. stock markets, even though they are also making gains Friday. The Dow Jones industrial average is up 0.7 percent at 15,760, while the broader S&P 500 index is also trading 0.7 percent higher at 1,842.

A rebound in oil prices has helped calm the mood in stock markets. A barrel of benchmark New York crude is 4.9 percent higher at $27.48.

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2:20 p.m.

Shares in Deutsche Bank have shot up 10 percent in Frankfurt after the German lender said it would buy back more than $5 billion worth of its own bonds.

The move is a show of financial strength to calm investor concerns over the bank's health. Shares in Deutsche Bank had fallen 41 percent since the start of the year to a low on Tuesday of 13.23 euros.

Deutsche Bank's gains on Friday come amid a broad-based rise in bank shares, which have likewise taken a hit in the global market turmoil this year.

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2:05 p.m.

The news that U.S. retail sales rose, albeit modestly, in January has helped to further ease tensions in financial markets.

Wall Street futures have pushed higher following the news that retail sales in the world's largest economy rose 0.2 percent during the month, helping to shore up markets at the end of what's been a tumultuous week.

Futures markets are pointing to a 165-point, or 1.1 percent, uptick for the Dow at the open, while the Stoxx 600 index in Europe is up 2.4 percent.

Dennis de Jong, managing director at UFX.com, says any positive figure is "a step in the right direction."

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12:35 p.m.

Wall Street is set to track European stock markets higher when it opens for trading, at the end of a tumultuous week that has stoked talk of a full-blown crash.

Dow futures are pointing to a 150 point, or 1 percent, advance at the open. That's short of the rebound many European markets are enjoying. The Stoxx 600 index of European shares, for example, is up 2 percent at 309.65.

A bounce back in the price of oil is widely credited for the more positive tone in stock markets. On Friday, the benchmark New York rate was trading around 4 percent higher at $27 a barrel.

Confidence remains low, however, that Friday's rebound in stocks and oil prices marks a turning point.

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA, sees "no reason to believe that any short-term rallies won't continue to be sold into, as they have repeatedly this year."

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12:00 p.m.

Bank stocks are among the top risers in European markets, led by Germany's Commerzbank, which has announced its first dividend since 2007.

Commerzbank said Friday it was proposing a dividend of 20 euro cents per share for the 2015 financial year after it posted upbeat earnings. That marks something of a turnaround for the bank, which has struggled to overhaul its business since the global financial crisis

Shares in Commerzbank were up 17 percent, helping to push the German DAX stock index up 1.5 percent.

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10:20 a.m.

Official figures have confirmed that the 19-country eurozone's economy grew 0.3 percent in the final quarter of 2015 compared with the previous three-month period.

The figure was in line with expectations, and European markets remained higher after its release.

The growth is, however, relatively weak considering the region has been benefiting from low energy costs, an export-boosting drop in the euro's value and monetary stimulus from the central bank.

The figure also suggests the bloc may be somewhat vulnerable to shocks in 2016, particularly the turmoil that has engulfed global financial markets.

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9:30 a.m.

The main economic release Friday is the first estimate of fourth-quarter economic growth across the 19-country eurozone.

Following a flurry of releases, including news that Germany expanded by a quarterly rate of 0.3 percent, there is a growing consensus that the eurozone also grew at the same 0.3 percent tick.

The recent turmoil in global financial markets has raised fears that growth will falter this year.

Jonathan Loynes, chief European economist at Capital Economics, says the downside risks have increased and as a result he thinks the European Central Bank will back "further decisive policy support" at its March meeting.

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8:20 a.m.

European stock markets have opened higher following a rebound in the price of oil and despite another slide in Japan's main stock index.

Soon after the open, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 1 percent at 5,591 while the CAC-40 in France rose 1.6 percent to 3,960.

The increases, seen across Europe, come at the end of what's been a tumultuous week in financial markets with investors fretting over the scale of the global economic slowdown and the ability of banks to weather the storm. Those concerns still weighed heavily Friday on Japan's Nikkei index, which fell 4.8 percent.

One reason why sentiment has improved in Europe is that oil prices bounced back from 13-year lows. A barrel of benchmark New York crude was up 3 percent at $27.