Europe stocks close higher on Yellen bounce; media stocks rise
European equities closed higher on Friday, improving on a rally seen in the previous session following dovish remarks from U.S. Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen.
The FTSEurofirst 300 Index provisionally closed up 0.3 percent to 1,297.82 points. Media stocks posted sizeable gains, with shares of Vivendi closing up 2.91 percent. The French multinational mass media and telecommunication company announced forecast beating earnings on Friday and said that it was nearer to offloading telecoms operator SFR.
However, Italian stocks closed down 0.4 percent, after the country was warned by the EU Commission that its draft budget for next year risked breaking the rules, bringing the focus back on to the country's high debt level.
European stocks matched their counterparts in Asia by pushing higher on Friday as investors cheered remarks from Yellen that the U.S.' monetary stimulus program would remain in place for now.
At her confirmation hearing before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday, Yellen said the central bank is not going to reduce its stimulus program anytime soon as she voiced concern about the economy, sluggish job growth and the low inflation rate. Overall, she was viewed as dovish and very much aligned with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.
In Europe, Greece will not yield to pressure to impose further austerity measures, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told CNBC late Thursday, responding to the Eurogroup's call for the indebted country to step up reform efforts in order to secure its next tranche of aid
"No austerity measures are needed. They are dangerous; we should let the automatic stabilizers work. We are willing to take structural measures with a fiscal impact, but not austerity measures," Stournaras told CNBC late Thursday.
Meanwhile in Frankfurt, Andreas Dombret, a member of the executive board of the Deutsche Bundesbank told CNBC that tough austerity reforms by struggling euro zone nations could start to weigh on their economies. He said that "reform fatigue" would be "very, very bad" and "very, very dangerous".
(Read More: Bundesbank's Dombret warns on bubble from low rates)
In stocks news, shares of defense contractor Safran closed down by 3.8 percent after French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said that the state had sold a 4.7 percent stake in the firm.
Shares of Barry Callebaut, the Swiss chocolate maker, closed higher by 1.69 percent after UBS raised its outlook on the from to a "buy" from a "neutral".
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