European Shares Gain After Fed Chairman Yellen Says Fed to Stay the Course
European stocks rise after new U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen said the central bank will stick to the low-interest rate strategy for now.
She also said the Fed won't necessarily tighten policy when the unemployment rate drops below the 6.5% threshold, as it is likely to do within the next few months.
Around the region, UK retailers rallied after the British Retail Consortium said total retail sales climbed 5.4% in January, marking the strongest pace of growth since March 2010.
Spanish finance minister Luis de Guindos said the government's current 0.7% growth estimate for Spanish GDP was now at the low end of analyst expectations, making an upward review more likely. He also said the government budget deficit for 2013 was "under control." Spain had committed to reducing its deficit to 6.5% of GDP for 2013.
In ADR news, Barclays ( BCS ) said it aims to shrink its balance sheet as falling revenue in its investment bank hurt profit. The bank also said it plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs. It expects 7000 of those jobs to be in Britain. For the full year 2013, Barclays swung to a net profit of 540 million pounds, although underlying profit declined compared with 2012.
Alcatel-Lucent ( ALU ) was cut to equal weight from overweight at Morgan Stanley.
The FTSE-100 was last up 1.23% at 6,672.66, the DAX up 2.03% at 9,478.77 and CAC-40 up 1.09% at 4,283.32.