European markets close higher; tech, banks and oil record big gains

Key Points
  • Friday's relief rally comes after heavy selling in the region on Thursday.
  • The Stoxx 600 recouped losses for the week.
  • Volatility amid thin volume of trade continues to dominate as a theme.

European markets closed higher Friday with all major bourses and sectors in positive territory.

The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 index ended provisionally higher by 1.9 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 149 points, or 2.3 percent, at 6,733 by the close of trading. In mainland Europe, the CAC 40 in Paris and the DAX 30 in Frankfurt both ended up by around 1.7 percent.

Tech and bank stocks led the charge. Among the former, AMS, Sitronic Nam, Infineon and Logitech were big gainers while in the banking sector Banco BPM and Metro Bank attracted buyers.

Basic Resources stocks were also among those leading the gains after a rise in Chinese stocks overnight and as fears over a US-China trade war subsided.The ongoing fight between the two largest economies in the world has rattled global stock markets for much of 2018.

Rio Tinto, Evraz, Anglo-American, Glencore, Antofagasta and Randgold Resources were all bid up following a rise in metal prices.

Other sectors enjoying substantial gains on Friday morning trade include Construction & Material, Chemicals and Oil & Gas.

Friday's gains come after heavy selling in the region on Thursday, when the DAX had closed down 2.4 percent. The German bourse is still in bear market territory, around 20 percent off its most recent 52-week high. It's also on track for its worst month since January 2016 and its worst year since 2008.

U.S. stocks fell and then rose sharply in Friday morning trade.

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Asia stocks gained on Friday, with the Shanghai Composite Index edging up 0.3 percent, South Korea's KOSPI adding 0.5 percent and Australian stocks climbing 0.6 percent. Japan's Nikkei, however, slipped 0.5 percent after surging almost 4 percent in the previous session.