2 Jul 2009

European stock markets surge

5:45 am on 2 July 2009

European stock exchanges surged on Wednesday in response to some positive US economic data despite unemployment figures that were worse than expected.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 1.8% higher at 865.66 points.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,905.44 points, up 96.8 or 2.01%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,217 points, up 76.56 or 2.44%. The Swiss market index closed at 5,472.94 points, up 68.97 or 1.28%.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed at 4,340.71 points, up 91.5 or 2.15%.

Other markets

In Japan, the Nikkei eased 18.51 points, 0.2%, to end at 9,939.93.

The Bank of Japan said in its quarterly Tankan survey that business confidence among major Japanese manufacturers had improved for the first time in 2.5 years.

Financial markets in Hong Kong were closed on Wednesday, on the anniversary of the territory's handover to China from Britain. On Tuesday the Hang Seng finished down 0.81% at 18,378.73.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 80.9 points, 2.05%, to 3,874.0. The All Ordinaries index fell 75.5 points, or 1.91%, to 3,872.3 points.

In New Zealand, the NZX50 index was down 15 points, or 0.56%, at 2780 on turnover of $63 million.

The dollar was trading at 64.42 US cents, 79.95 Australian cents, 39.2 pence, 62.37 yen and 0.4588 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 60.85.