European stocks higher on upbeat earnings; Dax up 0.77%

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Investing.com - European stocks were higher on Friday, boosted by upbeat earnings reports, while better-than-expected trade balance data out of Germany eased concerns over the strength of the euro zone's biggest economy.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 advanced 0.75%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.69%, while Germany's DAX 30 gained 0.77%.

Official data showed that Germany trade surplus narrowed less-than-expected in March, falling to EUR17.6 from a surplus of EUR17.7 billion the previous month.

Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to EUR16.5 billion in March.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas rose 0.03% and 0.94%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank added 0.11% and 0.76%.

Peripheral lenders added to gains, with Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA edged up 0.01% and 0.40% respectively, while Italy's Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo surged 1.69% and 2.19%.

Among earnings, ArcelorMittal surged 6.79% after saying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization fell to USD1.57 billion in the first three months of the year from USD2.12 billion a year earlier, still beating analysts' estimates.

In London, FTSE 100 climbed 0.50%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher.

Shares in Lloyds Banking added 0.22% and Barclays advanced 0.68%, while HSBC Holdings and the Royal Bank of Scotland rallied 0.86% and 1.11%.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were also on the upside, climbing 0.73% and 0.81%, while Anglo American rose 0.31%.

Elsewhere, BT rallied 8.63% as the U.K.'s largest fixed-line phone company reported fourth-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates, by adding more customers to its high-speed Internet service to compensate for declining landlines.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.35% increase, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.30% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.33% rise.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on the federal budget balance.


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