Europe posts best week since January post Fed


European stocks saw their best week since January after risk-on sentiment staged a return to financial markets on fresh optimism over the timing of interest rate rises on both sides of the Atlantic.

Some analysts were wary of the longevity of the run higher, but after the severe selling seen in the last two months, investors were enjoying a relief rally -- even if market fundamentals have changed little, they said.

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"The data may stink, but who cares? For those with strong stomachs, time to ride that enthusiasm for a while, perhaps; but the entropy of global debt dynamics (or cirrhosis) will ultimately prevail," said Rabobank analyst, Michael Every in a morning note to clients.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed around 0.3 percent higher Friday, gaining over 4.2 percent on the week, making it the best week European markets since January.

Miners and resources firms rose to the top of benchmarks with miner and commodity trading firm Glencore seeing another day of stellar gains, spiking as much as 14 percent, before closing around 7 percent higher.

The group pledged to slash its zinc production, sending the price of the metal up over 10 percent on the London Metal Exchange.

Commodity stocks also saw solid gains as oil markets rallied, with both Brent Crude and U.S. crude trading over $50 per barrel, extending gains seen earlier in the week and set for the biggest weekly rise in over six years.

Europe has followed the gains seen in the U.S. after investors digested a dovish set of minutes from the Federal Reserve's September meeting, which shed light on its decision to keep interest rates near zero.

The minutes indicated that Fed policymakers were still watching domestic inflation and the impact of slower global growth when considering when to raise interest rates.

"The market has been so macro-driven for some time now, sector correlations are at 96 percent currently in the STOXX 600, unless we get some micro drivers coming through then I think we are going to keep watching these macro drivers and looking at what the Fed is doing," founding partner at Libra Investment Services, Rob McCreery told CNBC.

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"You are seeing this sharp reversal in energy stocks which is market positioning, everybody was underweight or the wrong way around, but is that sustainable? Well we have been here for a while in April last year, it is painful for a while but ultimately it is not sustainable," he said.

As well as a dovish message from the Fed, Bank of England's rate-setting committee voted 8-1 to keep interest rates at their record low for another month in October, with a rate rise before mid-2016 looking increasingly less likely.

With some disappointing data on the U.K. economy, the continuing threat of low inflation or deflation, and market turmoil elsewhere continuing, there was little impetus for the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee to move on interest rates for the first time in six and a half years.

Optimism surrounding emerging markets was also boosting global stocks as a delay to a Fed interest rate hike is positive for firms with EM exposure, market analyst at CMC Markets, Jasper Lawler said.

"That is why you are seeing more EM exposed stocks like Standard Chartered doing well in the FTSE today. Some of the German companies were under pressure from those weak trade data number yesterday, with the minutes helping those as well," Lawler told CNBC.