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European stocks mostly rise as investors eye G20

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

European equities mostly rose Friday, mirroring gains in Asia, as investors eyed the G20 summit and upcoming IMF and World Bank spring meetings focused on global economic strains.

London's FTSE 100 index of leading companies rose 0.69 percent to 6,286.59 points, and in Paris the CAC 40 added 1.46 percent to 3,651.96 points.

Meanwhile in Frankfurt the DAX 30 slid 0.18 percent to 7,459.96 points.

Milan added 1.81 percent despite political turmoil over the election of a president, while Madrid climbed 1.32 percent.

The European single currency firmed to $1.3073 from $1.3049 late in New York on Thursday. The greenback rose to 99.29 yen from 98.14 yen.

"Equity markets ramped up small gains... showing a recovery from yesterday's mediocre performance," said analyst Brenda Kelly at traders IG.

"You can't consider this a sustained recovery," said trader Renaud Murail at Barclays Bourse in Paris.

We "remain in a nervous market which is always looking at the economy," he added.

Markets were enjoying a brighter end to the week, which started with a sell-off after China released worse-than-forecast growth data that raised concerns about the strength of the world's number-two economy.

At the G20 meet, which concludes later Friday, Japan was expected to try to reassure other finance ministers and central bank governors that it is not intentionally weakening its yen.

The Bank of Japan this month unleashed a huge stimulus package to kickstart its economy and bring an end to years of deflation. However, the move has led some to claim Tokyo is looking to give its exporters a trade advantage.

Analysts said the G20 was unlikely to voice major concern over Japan's new policy.

"The G20 meeting is unlikely to create much activity in the markets," noted analyst Craig Erlam at traders Alpari.

"We're probably going to see a very similar statement to the last, with the G20 committing to not using monetary policy to depreciate their respective currencies, while highlighting that they support Japan's efforts to overcome deflation.

"What this essentially means is that Japan will continue to depreciate the yen in the short term, however their actions are being monitored closely."

US stocks traded mixed Friday after a deluge of earnings reports gave conflicting signals about the state of the economy.

In midday trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average eased 0.11 percent to 14,521.44 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 added 0.75 percent to 1,553.12 points while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index put on 1.27 percent to 3,206.55 points.

Earnings reports from IBM and McDonalds missed expectations, while technology heavyweights Google and Microsoft outperformed analyst forecasts.

Asian equities won back ground on Friday at the end of a tough week for global equities and commodities, with investors brushing off a second straight loss on Wall Street, while gold prices also continued to recover.

Hong Kong stocks rallied 2.33 percent and Shanghai jumped 2.14 percent, while Tokyo rose 0.73 percent, Seoul was 0.35 percent higher and Sydney climbed 0.15 percent.

Gold rallied to $1,405.50 an ounce on the London Bullion Market from $1,393.75 on Thursday.

The precious metal had struck a two-year low at $1,321.95 on Tuesday after news of weaker-than-expected first-quarter economic growth in key commodity consumer China.

Back on the London stock market, the mining sector rebounded from sharp losses earlier this week that were sparked by the poor Chinese data.

Clients who went bargain hunting in the mining space after the aggressive sell off earlier in the week have been rewarded today, as the sector bounces back strongly.

Vedanta Resources rallied 6.1 percent to 1,151 pence, Randgold Resources won 1.1 percent to 4,664 pence and Evraz gained 3.5 percent to 161.80 pence.

Anglo American's share price rose 2.21 percent to 1,596.5 pence, despite news that the miner's platinum production fell two percent in the first quarter of 2013.

Shares in Kazakh miner Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. rocketed 26.6 percent to 291 pence after its founders said they were considering a bid backed by the Kazakhstan government to buy out the group.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130419/european-stocks-mostly-rise-investors-eye-g20-0