Investing.com - European stocks opened higher on Friday, as global equity markets recovered from news the Federal Reserve could begin raising interest rates sooner than expected, while comments by a European Central Bank board member lent some support.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 edged up 0.11%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.10%, while Germany’s DAX 30 added 0.17%.
Markets were eyeing comments by a number of Fed officials later Friday, after Fed Chair Janet Yellen surprised markets mid-week by suggesting the possibility of raising interest rates as soon as next year.
Separately, equities found some support after ECB Executive Board member Sabine Lautenschlaeger said on Thursday that rates will remain low or go even lower for an extended period.
Elsewhere, the U.S. expanded sanctions to 20 more prominent Russians, including allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, amid mounting tensions over Moscow''s annexation of Crimea.
Financial stocks were broadly higher, as French lender BNP Paribas added 0.11%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank rose 0.22% and 2.52%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit and Intesa Sanpaolo gained 0.15% and 0.66% respectively, while Spanish banks Banco Santander and BBVA advanced 0.18% and 0.52%.
Elswehere, Bouygues rallied 1.11% after the company raised its offer for Vivendi SA’s SFR unit with the financial backing of the French government, in an attempt to derail a bid from cable tycoon Patrick Drahi and his Numericable Group.
In London, FTSE 100 edged up 0.12%, supported by strong gains in mining and energy stocks.
Oil and gas giant Anglo American led gains on the index, with shares surging 2.78%, while mining groups Glencore Xstrata and Fresnillo climbed 1.34% and 1.85% respectively.
Meanwhile, financial stocks were mostly lower. Shares in Barclays slipped 0.27% and the Royal Bank of Scotland dropped 0.72%, while Lloyds Banking retreated 0.77%. HSBC Holdings overperformed on the other hand, gaining 1.04%.
HSBC strengthened after gaining a consensus recommendation of "hold" from the eight brokerages that are covering the bank.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.21% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.21% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.25% increase.
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