European Equities Rally, Close Higher After Euro Area Posts Economic Growth In Q4, German Banks Surge

European equities rebounded from Thursday's lower finish to close higher after the euro area posted economic expansion in the final quarter of 2015 and crude oil futures as well as German bank stocks rallied.

Seasonally-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.3% in the euro area during Q4 2015 compared with the previous quarter, a flash estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, showed. The countries which posted the highest growth during this period were Estonia, up by 1.2%, Poland, 1.1% higher and Romania, also up by 1.1%. Germany, the largest economy in the eurozone, expanded by 0.3%.

Separate data published by Eurostat showed that seasonally-adjusted industrial production fell by 1.0% in December 2015 compared to Nov. 2015 in the euro area. Compared to the corresponding month of the previous year, industrial production was 1.3% lower.

And, the price of crude oil futures - which are currently trading at approximately one third of the value they were approximately one-and-a-half-years ago due to oversupply, remained above $28 per barrel for the majority of the trading session, having closed 0.5% lower on Thursday.

In equities, commodities major Anglo American led gainers on the FTSE 100 Index, finishing 18.4% higher, with peers Glencore and Antofagasta jumping 12.3% and 11.3%, respectively. Rolls Royce, a manufacturer of power systems, surged 14.3%. Standard Chartered, an international banking group, closed 11% higher.

On Frankfurt's DAX, Commerzbank was 18.0% higher, followed by Deutsche Bank, up by 11.8% and ThyssenKrupp, a producer of flat carbon steel products, gaining 8.7%. Electricity and gas company RWE closed 6.1% higher, followed by energy major E.ON, up 5.9%.

And, on Paris' CAC-40, steel producer ArcelorMittal led with an 8.4% gain, followed by French oil major Total, up 7.6%. Paris-based bank BNP Paribas rose 5.9%, followed by building materials firm LafargeHolcim, up 5%.

The FTSE 100 rallied 3.08%, the DAX gained 2.45% and the CAC-40 was 2.52% higher.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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