16 Jul 2009

European stocks higher at close

5:51 am on 16 July 2009

European shares closed higher on Wednesday, boosted by Goldman Sachs and Intel. Banking stocks were the biggest gainers.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index of top shares was 2.8% higher at 863.32 points, its best close in two weeks.

The index also rose 1.2% in the previous session and has gained 33% since hitting a record low in early March.

Barclays was up 4.4%. HSBC, Banco Santander, Societe Generale and Credit Suisse gained 2.6% -4.2%.

Energy stocks were higher as crude oil prices rose 2.7%. BG Group, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total up 2.1% -3.3%%.

Copper prices rose 4.4%. Rio Tinto jumped 4.2% after posting a rise of 8% in second-quarter output of iron ore. Anglo American, Antofagasta, BHP Billiton, Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation and Xstrata rose 3% - 8.4%.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4928.44 points, up 146.75 or 3.07%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3171.27 points, up 89.4 or 2.9%. The Swiss market index closed at 5473.33 points, up 108.28 or 2.02%.

In London, the FTSE 100 index ended up 108.78 points, 2.6%, at 4,346.46 - its third day of gains. The index is up 5.3% this week.

Other markets

In Tokyo, the Nikkei average was flat, rising 7.44 points to 9,269.25.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index rose 372.93 points, 2.1%, to 18,258.66.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 index rose 57.4 points, 1.5%, to 3,924.5, its highest close since June 30. The All Ordinaries index gained 58.7 points, or 1.52%, to 3917.5 points.

On the Sydney Futures Exchange, the September share price index contract was up 41 points at 3,888 on volume of 26,768 contracts.

In New Zealand, the NZX50 index rose 15.58 points, 0.57%, to close at 2764 on turnover of $70 million.

The dollar was trading at 64.05 US cents, 80.7 Australian cents, 39.25 pence, 59.89 yen and 0.458 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was at 60.47.