All major global market indices ended their trading sessions on Friday on an up note.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo rose 0.8 percent to 9,162.50, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong also was up 0.8 percent to 20,116.07.
In Europe, investors’ sentiment continued to be boosted by hopes that the region’s leaders are edging towards a solution to the debt crisis.
The mood was more buoyant after Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that Europe’s leaders need to find a “long-term, sustainable solution” to the crisis and underlined that “time is of the essence.” The chancellor, who was speaking during a visit to Canada, is set to meet a number of her counterparts in Berlin next week for further talks to attempt to resolve Europe’s financial issues.
The FTSE MIB in Milan closed the week up 1.3 percent to 15,124.69, followed by the DAX in Frankfurt, up 0.6 percent to 7,040.88. The FTSE 100 in London finished up 0.3 percent to 5,852.42 while the CAC 40 in Paris gained 0.2 percent to 3,488.38.
Banking stocks — including Lloyds Banking Group in London and Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt — led the gains. And most fashion, luxury and retail stocks mirrored the positive performance.
Among those that rose the most were Mulberry, up 1.8 percent to 13.47 pounds; Burberry, which gained 1.2 percent to 13.86 pounds; Marks & Spencer, up 1.2 percent to 3.64 pounds and Asos.com, which rose 1.4 percent to 18.35 pounds.
The few that lost ground included Brunello Cucinelli, down 2.5 percent to 13.08 euros; French Connection, which dipped 1.4 percent to 20 pence, and Ferragamo, down 1 percent to 17.02 euros.
In the U.S., the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2 percent to 13,275.20, while the S&P Retail Index rose 0.7 percent to 644.43.
Among the top performers were Ann Inc., rising 20.4 percent to $33.89; Francesca’s Holdings Corp., up 10.7 percent to $34.32; Express Inc., gaining 7.7 percent to $17.15, and Gap Inc., increasing 4.8 percent to $35.99.