Global equity markets surged on Friday morning after the Chinese central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates to boost its flagging economic growth.
European traders cheered the news and sent equities higher. The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index was up 1.9 percent after receiving a boost earlier in the session from a dovish speech by Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank (ECB). In early afternoon trade, the ECB announced it had started its planned purchase of asset-backed securities, helping to buoy sentiment further.
U.S. stock index futures also received a boost after the rate cut, along with commodities such as zinc and copper.
Leading the gains was the basic resources sector - with its heavy exposure to China - leaping nearly 5.5 percent. Rio Tinto shares climbed 5.5 percent with Anglo American and BHP Billiton showing similar moves.
Construction stocks and energy firms also saw impressive gains that helped the German DAX to trade higher by 2.25 percent and the French CAC 40 log gains of nearly 2.6 percent. Greek stocks in Athens were trading higher by 3.7 percent in early afternoon trade.