30 Apr 2009

European shares hit 11-week highs

6:00 am on 30 April 2009

European stocks closed at an 11-week high on Wednesday, after Banco Santander reported higher than expected earnings.

First quarter net profit at Spain's largest bank fell by 5%: earnings fell to 2.096 billion euros, down from 2.206 billion euros for the same period in 2008.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index advanced 1.9% to 816.40 points - its best close since 9 February.

Shares in Santander and BNP Paribas rose by 6.1%. Barclays rose by 10.4%.

In Frankfurt, the DAX index ended at 4,704.56 points, up 97.14 or 2.11%.

In Paris, the CAC-40 index closed at 3,116.94 points, up 65.92 or 2.16%. The Swiss market index closed at 5,152.72 points, up 43.63 or 0.85%.

In London, the FTSE 100 closed at 4,189.59 points, up 93.19 or 2.27%.

Other markets

Markets in Tokyo were closed for a National Holiday, Showa Emperor's Day. They will reopen on Thursday. On Tuesday, the Nikkei index fell 2.7% or 232.57 points to 8,493.77.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index ended up 401.84 points, 2.76%, at 14,956.95.

In Australia, the S&P ASX/200 index fell 13.1 points to 3,695.3, after falling 0.6% on Tuesday. The All Ordinaries lost 16.2 points to 3655.5.

In New Zealand, the NZX 50 index finished up 13 points at 2699 on turnover of $126 million.

The dollar was trading at 56.53 US cents, 79.49 Australian cents, 38.46 pence, 54.66 yen and 0.4289 euro. The Trade Weighted Index was 56.2.