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
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%
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
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