European stocks mainly firm
Market watch top headlines
LONDON, Nov 30 AFP
December 01 2012, 02:37AM
Europe's main stock markets have mostly risen after the German parliament approved the latest instalment of aid for Greece, helping to offset persistent concerns over the US "fiscal cliff."
In Friday afternoon deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index added 0.34 per cent to 5890.34 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 won 0.35 per cent to 7427.18 points and the Paris CAC 40 climbed 0.38 per cent to 3582.39 points.
On the downside, Madrid's Ibex 35 index fell 0.25 per cent to 7953.40 points with shares in bailed-out Bankia plunging by 20 per cent amid concerns over its restructuring.
The European single currency rallied to a one-week high at $US1.3028, boosted by the German approval, before pulling back to $1.2985, up from $1.2978 late in New York on Thursday.
Gold prices firmed to $1728.25 per ounce on the London Bullion Market, compared with $1725 on Thursday.
"Germany's Bundestag approved Greece's latest rescue deal with a majority, bolstering the tone somewhat by mid-day trade in Europe," said Ishaq Siddiqi, analyst at ETX Capital trading group.
"That said, persisting worries about the fiscal cliff in the US pressures a sensitive market. Progress or the lack of, over US lawmakers reaching a deal dominate headlines and keeps the bulls and the bears fighting for control over direction."
Germany's parliament on Friday overwhelmingly approved billions of euros in international aid for Greece, handing a much-needed financial boost to Athens as it battles against bankruptcy.
Deputies voted by 473 to 100 to give the green light to the release of 43.7 billion euros ($A54.80 billion) in aid to debt-wracked Greece agreed after torturous talks between eurozone finance ministers. There were 11 abstentions.
In company news, shares in Metro gained 0.50 per cent to 21.70 euros after the German retailer agreed to sell the eastern European operations of its Real supermarket unit to French rival Auchan for 1.1 billion euros ($A1.38 billion).