The major global markets ended the week on a high note on hopes of additional stimulus from the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank.
Investors in the U.S. sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 1.5 percent to 13,075.66 following a report that annualized gross domestic product rose 1.5 percent, which met Wall Street’s expectations and further fueled hopes that the Federal Reserve would inject more money into the economy. The S&P Retail Index rose 3.3 percent to 630.98.
The Commerce Department raised its GDP estimate Friday for the January to March quarter to 2 percent, up from 1.9 percent. Although GDP slowed in the April to June quarter to 1.5 percent, that was expected as there were earlier indications that Americans had been cutting back on their spending.
U.S. investors also focused on what they deemed as good news from Europe following European Central Bank president Mario Draghi’s comments Thursday, saying that the ECB would do “whatever it takes” to save the euro.
That was followed today by a pledge by Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and France’s president Francois Hollande, through a joint statement, saying they would “do everything to protect [the euro].” Their statement followed a telephone conference between the two leaders.
The FTSE MIB in Milan closed up 2.9 percent to 13,596.88, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, up 2.3 percent to 3,280.19. The DAX in Frankfurt finished up 1.6 percent to 6,689.40, followed by the FTSE 100 in London, up 1 percent to 5,627.21.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.5 percent to 8,566.64, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 2 percent to 19,274.96.