London: European stocks surged on Wednesday, as investors shrugged off swine flu concerns following news of resurgent economic confidence in the recession-hit eurozone.
In late morning deals, London’s FTSE 100 of leading shares rose 0.79% to 4,128.93 points. Frankfurt’s DAX 30 added 0.88% to 4,647.95 points and the Paris CAC 40 won 1.24% to 3,089.01 points.
The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 index of leading eurozone shares increased 1.19% to 2,307.68 points.
The euro stood at $1.3241.
“Investors seem to have shrugged off the swine flu fears and are looking to get back into the market,” said City Index analyst Joshua Raymond.
Frankfurt, London and Paris stock markets had dipped on Tuesday on profit-taking amid jitters over US banks and anxiety about the deadly swine flu outbreak hampering a global economic recovery.
“Markets, like the UK weather at this time of year, are changeable, moving from the prospective gloom of swine flu to data-related optimism in the space of a trading session,” said Calyon bank’s analyst Daragh Maher.
“But the overall message remains one of uncertainty, a lack of clarity and an unwillingness to extend any trend too far.”
Business and consumer confidence in the European economy rose in April for the first time in nearly two years, an EU survey showed on Wednesday, adding to signs the slump is stabilizing.
The European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator for the 16-nation eurozone rose to 67.2 points in April, from 64.7 points in March, beating economists’ expectations for an increase to only 65.3 points. The improvement marked the first increase since May 2007 in the eurozone.
“The rise in confidence suggests that both businesses and consumers are starting to become more confident in recovery prospects,” said IHS Global Insight economist Howard Archer.
Wall Street stocks had wobbled lower on Tuesday as worries about the spread of swine flu and a weak banking system offset a survey showing rising US consumer confidence.
The Tokyo market, which was shut for a public holiday on Wednesday, had fallen on Tuesday by almost 3% on fears about the spreading swine flu outbreak.
But Hong Kong stocks rallied 2.76% on Wednesday on bargain hunting after a two-day sell-off caused by concerns of a possible swine flu pandemic.
Fears over swine flu were put aside, after the index dived 4.6% in the previous two sessions, as many now feel it is too early to assess the long-term risks.
“(We) have priced in the initial psychological impact of the swine flu,” said a local fund manager, adding that investors believe governments are now much better prepared than during the SARS viral outbreak in 2003.