4:00 PM Frankfurt, Germany European stocks made a strong comeback on Friday and trimmed weekly losses in market indexes as Italian banks rallied and rising oil prices buoyed energy stocks. German trade surplus increased to 19.8 billion on strong growth in exports. Air France-KLM reported a rise in passenger traffic in March.
European equities made a strong comeback on Friday as rising oil prices buoyed energy stocks and Italian banks rallied. Nevertheless, most major indexed ended the week with a loss.
Oil prices rose on positive indications for the global economy. U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that the U.S. economy was not a bubble and the economy was on a solid course.
Brent crude oil futures soared 5.7% to $41.67, while WTI crude oil futures rose 5.6% to $39.35.
Oil and energy stocks surged, with Royal Dutch Shell up 3.9%, BP gaining 3.7%, Total adding 3.4%, and Statoil closing 2% higher.
Metals prices advanced as well, fueling growth at major U.K. mining stocks. Shares of Glencore, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto gained of 3% to 5% for the day.
Italian banks also recorded solid gains on expectations about an upcoming government fund that would buy non-performing loans and support the recapitalization of the banks.
Shares of UniCredit, the largest Italian bank in terms of assets, soared 9.7%. Banca Popolare di Milano, Banco Popolare and Banca popolare dell''Emilia Romagna jumped by more than 10% each.
On the negative side, companies that went ex-dividend, or traded without the latest dividend payout, declined. Swisscom lost 3.9% and Gjensidige tumbled 5.5%.
In Germany, the trade surplus increased unexpectedly to 19.8 billion in February from 18.7 billion in January, according to data from the Federal Statistical Office.
Total exports grew 1.3%, while imports inched up 0.4% from the previous month. The current account balance indicated a surplus of 20 billion in February, compared with 16.3 billion a year ago.
In the U.K., however, industrial production dropped 0.5% from a year ago in February, the largest decline in three years, the Office for National Statistics said.
The decline, which compares with a gain of 0.2% gain in the previous month, was due to 1.8% drop in manufacturing from a year ago.
In London, FTSE 100 index was up 67.52, or 1.10%, to 6,204.41, its highest level in 2016. The index is up 1% for the week.
In Frankfurt, the DAX index gained 91.64, or 0.96%, to 9,622.26. On a weekly basis, the index lost 2.7%.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index advanced 57.21, or 1.35%, to 4,303.12. The benchmark is down 1.5% for the week.
In Milan, FTSE MIB index, advanced 4.1% to 17,504.62, outperforming the other markets in Europe. For the week, the Italian index is down 0.8%.
Telecom Italia SpA
jumped 6.3% to 0.89 after Vivendi which controls the 24.9% in the telecom carrier, said the company doesnt need to raise capital through a rights offering for new investments.
Air France-KLM SA
added 2% to 8.1 after the airline reported an increase in passenger traffic in March.
Royal KPN NV
lost 2.8% to 3.46 on media reports that competitor Deutsche Telekom is adopting a new strategy to revive its struggling Dutch unit.