Eurozone optimism lifts most markets

INTERNATIONAL stock markets enjoyed a rare consecutive day’s rise yesterday as optimism surrounding positive solutions to the eurozone debt crisis being found gathered momentum.

With the exception of the Balkan states, all of Europe’s national bourses had healthy increases in yesterday’s trading session; the continent’s stocks — as a whole — rising the most in 16 months.

London’s FTSE-100 index was up by 4% — also its highest one-day gain for 16 months — while the French banks drove the CAC-40’s 5.74% rise. In Frankfurt, the other of the big three European exchanges; the DAX, gained 5.3%. Meanwhile, Spain’s IBEX and the Borsa Italiana were up by 4% and 4.9%, respectively.

Before Europe’s exchanges opened, yesterday, Tokyo’s Nikkei and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng had both closed with respective gains of 4.15% and 2.82%; arresting significant recent losses. Early afternoon trading in the US, meanwhile, saw gains of between 2.4% and 2.6% for the Dow Jones, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.

Dublin’s ISEQ was up by a healthy 3.24% — or 79 points — to close at just over 2,520 points.

There were moderate gains for most stocks and larger rises for the likes of Kerry Group, Smurfit Kappa, Aryzta, CRH, DCC, Elan, Kingspan, Paddy Power and United Drug.

The only fallers were Datalex, Independent News & Media (INM), IFG, Origin Enterprises, Petroneft and C&C.

Despite yesterday’s investor optimism, however, doubt still persists amongst market analysts about how Europe’s policymakers may reach some kind of solution to the debt crisis.

Talk that the European Central Bank may strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), in the wake of President Obama saying that Europe’s crisis was scaring the world, was knocked yesterday by Germany’s Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schauble, saying it would be more problematic than beneficial, as it could put certain member states’ positive credit ratings at risk. However, one of those countries, France said last night that it would make new proposals to stabilise the eurozone crisis, once a plan to reinforce the bailout fund was put in place.

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