DSG International leads London retailers higher
European equities markets were higher Friday as investors mostly ignored a new report from the US Labor Department which showed that 598,000 jobs were lost to the US economy in January.
There were hopes that the dismal jobs numbers would encourage US lawmakers to vote soon on an economic stimulus package introduced by President Barack Obama.
The FTSE 100 added 1.49 percent to 4,291.87 in London, while the FTSE 250 gained 2.67 percent to 6,561.67.
Most retailers saw gains, led by sports retailer Sportsdirect (LSE: SPD), which added 17.62 percent, and DSG International (LSE: DSGI), which was up 17.78 percent.
The FTSE Eurofirst 300 was up 1.69 percent to 824.17 while the IBEX added 1.24 percent to 8,544.7, the CAC-40 was 1.84 percent higher to 3,122.79 and the Dax gained 2.97 percent to 4,644.63.
Equities markets in the Asia-Pacific region were also higher on the session.
Tokyo’s markets advanced on weakness in the yen, which helped exporters.
The Nikkei 225 was up 1.6 percent to 8,076.62 and the Topix index added 0.56 percent to 790.84, but the Mothers market of small and mid-caps dropped 0.75 percent to 332.13.
The Straits Times Index was up 0.63 percent to 1,715.35, while in Australia the Sydney Ordinaries added 1.03 percent to 3,407.5 and the S&P/ASX200 was 1.2 percent higher to 3,469.9.
The Sensex gained 2.31 percent to 9,300.86, the Taiex added 2.48 percent to 4,471.25, the Kospi was up 2.75 percent to 1,210.26, the Hang Seng was 3.61 percent higher to 13,655.04 and the Shanghai Composite gained 3.97 percent to 2,181.24.
At just past 1 p.m. in New York the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.5 percent to 8,264.42 while the Nasdaq Composite had added 2.52 percent to 1,585.24 and the S&P 500 had gained 2.3 percent to 865.33.
Crude oil prices were lower and metals saw gains, while grains prices were mixed in Chicago.
The Japanese yen lost ground while the pound strengthened during the session.