European stocks closed sharply higher Thursday after the head of the European Central Bank said he is ready to pump more stimulus into the eurozone economy as needed.
The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 2.4% to finish at 362.24. The broad European benchmark finished near its highs of the session, registering one of its best gains on percentage basis, so far this year.
Stocks vaulted higher as ECB President Mario Draghi emphasized the central bank’s “willingness” to act as risks for the eurozone economy arise. He made his remarks at a Thursday news conference following the ECB’s policy statement. The ECB’s staff lowered yearly projections for eurozone inflation and growth.
All Stoxx 600 sectors advanced, led by the basic materials, technology and health care sectors. Novartis AG shares tacked on 1.9% after the pharmaceutical company said it would start selling a copycat version of Amgen Inc.’s blockbuster cancer drug Neupogen.
Among country indexes, Germany’s DAX 30 finished the session up 2.7% at 10,317.84, France’s CAC 40 moved up 2.2% to close 4,653.79, and Spain’s IBEX 35 gained 1% at 10,042.40. In London, the FTSE 100 rose 1.8% to 6,194.10.
Equities got an early boost after Markit’s eurozone services PMI for August came in at 54.4 in its final reading, higher than the initial, or flash, estimate of 54.3. The volatile Chinese markets, which have swayed global markets, are closed for two days for a holiday.
Source : Market Watch