European markets made nervous gains today despite lingering fears that the world economy is heading back towards recession.
The FTSE 100 Index in London gained 1.5% as traders decided that shares represented good value after the index fell 5% last week. The CAC 40 in France and the DAX in Germany also pushed higher.
However, markets remain jittery after last week’s poor economic data from the US and eurozone created fresh panic about the prospect of a global recession.
The glut of bad news caused London’s blue chip index to suffer its biggest daily loss in nearly three years on Thursday, wiping £62.3bn from the value of the UK’s 100 biggest companies.
In another session of volatile trading today, London’s leading shares index slid nearly 1% at the start of the session – taking it below the 5000 mark – but it bounced back shortly afterwards.
Gold continued to hit new record highs, rising to 1,895 US dollars (€1,314) per ounce, because it is seen as a safe haven amid the market turmoil.
Oil prices fell more than 2%, on speculation that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s 40-year rule in Libya is on the edge of collapse, which traders think could reopen supplies from the war-torn country.