European shares sharply higher after ECB comments

Friday 22 January 2016 15.26
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ECB hint of more euro zone stimulus sends markets higher
ECB hint of more euro zone stimulus sends markets higher
Japan's Nikkei index surged 5.9% in earlier Asian trade
Japan's Nikkei index surged 5.9% in earlier Asian trade

Europe's leading stock markets continued to rally today, building on a recovery that began in the previous session after the ECB hinted at more euro zone stimulus.

The Paris market had jumped 3.4% this afternoon while the Frankfurt and London markets were up over 2%. Shares in Dublin were 1.4% higher iny afternoon trade.

Earlier, Asian stocks bounced at the end of a tumultuous week, recovering from four-year lows thanks to hints of more monetary policy support by the European Central Bank and a rally in crude oil from 12-year lows. 

Japan's Nikkei index surged 5.9% at the close, the most in more than four months, moving away from a 15-month low struck yesterday. 

It was boosted by speculation that the Bank of Japan would opt for additional stimulus at its January 28-29 policy meeting. The rally shrank losses for the week to 1.1%. 

Hong Kong stocks also ended the week with a bang, surging almost 3% on hopes for fresh stimulus measures from Japan and the euro zone

Australian shares closed up 1.1%, gaining 0.5% for the week, while volatile Shanghai shares added 1.6%, on track for a weekly gain of 1%. 

The ECB managed to contain some of the pessimism for the time being after ECB President Mario Draghi hinted strongly yesterday that more easing could be coming within months. 

Fading growth and inflation prospects will force the central bank to review its policy stance in March, Draghi said.