World stock markets rose Friday after a run of stronger than anticipated U.S. economic data the previous day renewed investors' hopes that the world's largest economy may recover from recession this year.
By mid-morning London time, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 83.29 points, or two per cent, at 4,364.15 while Germany's DAX advanced 21.13 points, or 0.4 per cent, at 4,858.61.
France's CAC-40 index was 33.76 points, or 1.1 per cent, at 3,227.82.
Investors have been in a cautious mood for most of the week amid mounting concerns that the recent economic news has not been quite good enough to justify the share rally in stock markets since the middle of March.
However, strong U.S. jobs and industrial data Thursday helped ease those concerns and contributed to solid gains on Wall Street.
"Economic data continues to strengthen leaving markets with the impression that the current economic rebound is going to be self-sustaining," said Hans Redeker, an analyst at BNP Paribas.
"The more this impression is anchored the better the bullish market reaction," he added.
British builder's orders boom
The FTSE outperformed its counterparts in Europe after housebuilder Taylor Wimpey PLC unexpectedly revealed that its order book has risen a massive 73 per cent since the end of 2008, a further sign that the housing market has stabilized.
This potential "green shoot" of recovery comes days after a less bleak assessment of the state of the British economy by the Bank of England and comments from Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winner for economics, that Britain is probably the best-placed European economy to rebound from recession.
The stock market rally around the world since March had been fuelled by hopes the U.S. economy will recover from recession sooner than anticipated. That optimism dissipated in recent days, and despite the relatively upbeat U.S. data Thursday, analysts say investors need clearer evidence that the world economy and company earnings are recovering to make sense of stock valuations.
In March, many investors saw valuations around the world as particularly cheap and started buying into the market.
Earlier in Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 stock average added 82.54 points, or 0.9 per cent, to 9,786.26, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 144.27, or 0.8 per cent, to 17,920.93. South Korea's Kospi inched up 0.6 per cent to 1,383.34.
Taiwan's key index rose 1.4 per cent, while Australia's benchmark inched up 0.2 per cent.
Shanghai's index stretched its winning streak with a 0.9 per cent gain as the government lifted a nine-month ban on initial public stock offerings.