Investing.com - European stocks were sharply higher on Friday, as news on Thursday that the European Central Bank is launching a large scale quantitative easing program continued to lend broad support to equity markets.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 jumped 1.10%, France's CAC 40 advanced 1.14%, while Germany's DAX 30 rallied 1.29%.
European equities were boosted after ECB President Mario Draghi on Thursday said it will make monthly purchases of €60 billion per month, starting in March and continuing until late 2016.
Draghi acknowledged the action the ECB took last year was "insufficient" to ward off the threat of deflation in the region.
Earlier Friday, research firm Markit said that Germany's preliminary manufacturing purchasing managers' index ticked down to 51.0 this month from 51.2 in December, compared to expectations for a rise to 51.7.
The German preliminary services PMI rose to 52.7 in January from 52.1 the previous month, exceeding expectations for a rise to 52.5.
Markit also said that France's preliminary manufacturing PMI rose to 49.5 this month from 47.5 in December, beating expectations for a rise to 48.1.
The French preliminary services PMI fell to 49.5 in January from a reading of 50.6 the previous month, confounding expectations for an increase to 50.7.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lendersBNP Paribas (PARIS:BNPP) andSociete Generale (PARIS:SOGN) surged 2.21% and 2.09%, while Germany'sDeutsche Bank (XETRA:DBKGn) and Commerzbank (XETRA:CBKG) gained 0.51% and 3.53%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy'sIntesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit advanceed 0.84% and 0.91% respectively, while Spanish banksBanco Santander and BBVA climbed 0.64% and 1.67%.
Elsewhere,Portugal Telecom (LISBON:PTC) soared 9.60% after shareholders approved the €7.4 billion sale of Oi SA (SA:OIBR3)'s Portuguese telecommunications assets toAltice SA (AMS:ATCE), whose shares were up 5.84%.
In London, FTSE 100 climbed 0.54%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher.
Shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland (LONDON:RBS) rose 0.54% and Lloyds Banking (LONDON:LLOY) advanced 0.56%, whileBarclays gained 0.79% andHSBC Holdings (LONDON:HSBA) jumped 1.48%.
In the mining sector, stocks were broadly lower.Randgold Resources andFresnillo (LONDON:FRES) tumbed 2.21% and 2.32% respectively, whileGlencore Xstrata (LONDON:GLEN) plummeted 2.63% andAntofagasta plunged 2.99%, leasing losses on the commodity-heavy index.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.26% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.18% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.15% rise.
Later in the day, the euro zone was to publish preliminary data on private sector activity, while the U.S. was to release preliminary data on manufacturing activity and a private sector report on existing home sales.
Investing.com offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
Read more News on Investing.com and download the new Investing.com apps for Android and iOS!