Arab Today, arab today european stocks mostly higher turkey hit by crisis
Last Updated : GMT 06:51:35
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European stocks mostly higher, Turkey hit by crisis

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today European stocks mostly higher, Turkey hit by crisis

London - AFP

Europe's main stock markets rose on Friday as trading resumed after the Christmas break, but the political crisis gripping Turkey sent its currency sliding to a new record low. London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.85 percent to close at 6,750.87 points. In Paris, the CAC 40 jumped 1.40 percent to 4,277.65 points, compared with the close on Tuesday -- the last trading day for both the British and French bourses before shutting for the festive period. Frankfurt's DAX 30, having been closed since Monday, rose 1.06 percent to a new record close of 9,589.39 points. "European shares are trading higher... following in the footsteps of firmer markets overnight across Asia and the US after yesterday’s better than expected US weekly jobless claims data," said Markus Huber, senior trader at broker Peregrine & Black.   "There is plenty of optimism going around which is likely to drive markets to higher levels yet as we are nearing the end of 2013. Many are confident that 2014 will see economies around the world accelerate while interest rates are remaining at extraordinary low levels paving the way for higher corporate earnings in the quarters ahead." In foreign exchange trading, the Turkish lira touched a new record low of 2.1764 to the dollar in morning trading, but clawed back to end the day at 2.1492. The Istanbul stock exchange dropped as much as 3.9 percent before recovering to end the day down 1.04 percent. "Turkey is sinking into a political crisis and the Turkish lira is at an historic low," said Olivier Jakob of Petromatrix. On Wednesday three top ministers whose sons have been caught up in police anti-corruption raids announced their resignations, with one calling on Recep Tayyip Erdogan to also step down in the first such challenge to the prime minister from within his own ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). On Friday three lawmakers including a former minister resigned from the AKP, and protestors took to the streets again. The lira's fall came despite the decision of the Turkish central bank, announced Tuesday, to sell off some of its dollar reserves to shore up the currency, which was already weakened by the money tightening of the US central bank. The Turkish central bank planned to inject 450 million dollars daily from now until December 31 and a total of three billion dollars in January to rescue the currency which has fallen 15 percent since January this year. Elsewhere on Friday, the euro rose to $1.3766 from $1.3690 late in New York on Thursday, having spent much of the day above $1.38 The British pound slid to 1.1976 euros while it climbed to $1.6490. Gold advanced to $1,214.50 an ounce from $1,196.50 Thursday on the London Bullion Market. Asian markets mixed, yen hits 5-year low Asian stock markets closed mixed on Friday, while the yen tumbled against the euro and the dollar. The yen sank further as traders bet on further monetary easing by the Bank of Japan, while upbeat US data supported the greenback. The yen fell to 105.03 against the dollar around 0100 GMT, its lowest in more than five years. Late buying pushed Tokyo's Nikkei back into positive territory and a fresh six-year high, while a weaker yen also boosted the market. US stocks pulled back Friday after having hit record highs the previous day. In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 0.02 percent to 16,477.17 points. The broad-based S&P 500 gave up 0.05 percent to 1,841.16, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slid 0.13 percent to 4,161.82. Both the Dow and S&P 500 closed at record highs on Thursday. A strong report Thursday on US jobless claims followed solid figures earlier in the week on US consumer spending and durable goods orders. Better-than-expected economic news in recent days has increased confidence in the US outlook after the Federal Reserve announced on December 18 it was scaling back its massive bond-buying programme. A note from brokers at Nomura said some headwinds remain but that "the strong performance of the economy in recent months gives us greater confidence that the long-anticipated cyclical acceleration of US growth is happening, and that asset markets are likely to adjust to this new development."

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