LONDON — Europe’s stock markets were on the uptick in mid-morning trading, with the DAX in Frankfurt leading the way.
The German stock exchange advanced 1 percent to 6,379.03, followed by the FTSE MIB in Milan, which was up 0.8 percent to 13,213.34.
The CAC 40 in Paris climbed 0.6 percent to 3,055.47, while the FTSE 100 in London rose 0.3 percent to 5,365.07.
The euro traded at $1.26, while the pound traded at $1.57 at 11:15 am CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were mostly up with the markets, with the morning’s biggest risers including Carrefour, which was up 3.4 percent to 14.68 euros; Geox, which advanced 2.7 percent to 1.51 euros; and French Connection Group, which was up 5.5 percent to 0.28 pounds.
Friday’s modest gains cap a week of market volatility against a backdrop of continued uncertainty — and lack of growth — in the euro zone.
In the U.K., the Office of National Statistics adjusted first quarter GDP downward to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent on Thursday. The reason was a worse-than-expected slump in the construction industry.
As a result, there is increased speculation that the Bank of England will have to downgrade its 2012 growth forecast further and initiate a new round of quantitative easing.
Earlier this month, Bank of England governor Mervyn King already cut the U.K. growth target for 2012 to 0.8 percent from 1.2 percent.
Meanwhile, nations outside the euro zone are increasingly feeling shock waves from the region’s crisis.
Thailand today reported an unexpected fall in April exports of 3.7 percent, due to falling demand from countries such as Europe and the U.S.