LONDON — Beleaguered European stock markets were on the upswing in midmorning trading on Friday after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi signaled he was ready to give a further boost to the region’s struggling economy.
All major indices gained ground, with the CAC 40 in Paris leading the way. The French market was up 3 percent to 4331.93; followed by the FTSE 100 in London, 2.1 percent to 5892.84, and the FTSE MIB in Milan, 1.9 percent to 19,084.14. The DAX in Frankfurt rose 1.8 percent to 9,747.37.
The euro traded at $1.09 while the pound fetched $1.42, and the Swiss franc equaled $0.99 at 11:45 a.m. CET.
Retail and luxury stocks were also up, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Metro AG, 3.2 percent to 25.92 euros; Carrefour, 4.3 percent to 24.83 euros; Kering, 4.8 percent to 154.05 euros; Hugo Boss, 4.9 percent to 69.69 euros, and Tod’s, 4.1 percent to 73.20 euros after the group reported that sales last year were up 7.4 percent to 1.03 billion euros.
On Thursday, Draghi announced that interest rates in the euro zone would remain unchanged and that economic stimulus measures, put in place a year ago, could well be extended.
During his first press conference of the year in Frankfurt, Draghi said the ECB needed to “review and possibly reconsider our monetary policy stance at our next meeting in early March, when the new staff macroeconomic projections become available which will also cover the year 2018.”
He added later there would be “no limits” to how far the ECB is willing to deploy its instruments within its mandate to achieve its objective of a rate of inflation that is below, but close to, 2 percent.