Europe, Asia Higher

European stock markets were higher Friday, with the FTSE reaching a three-year high; in Asia, the Nikkei was boosted by Wall Street gains

European stock markets were higher on Friday. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index rose 32.60 points to a 3-year high 5077.60 on bargain hunting as futures and options expired. 70 FTSE stocks rose, and 28 fell on turnover of 2,453,000,000 shares. Yields on 10-year gilts fell to 4.39% from 4.40% yesterday. Sterling rose to $1.8262. Shell Transport and BP rose as August Brent crude oil futures pushed higher. Corus Group rose after ABN Amro raised its rating on stock to "add" from "reduce". BHP rose as copper futures prices rise on increased Chinese demand. Inmarsat rose after company raised 367.5 millio pounds through a stock sale to pay off debt.

In Germany, the DAX Index rose 24.70 points to 4604.57 on reports eurozone Industrial Production rose in April for the first time since January and German PPI was unchanged in May after spurting 0.7% in April. 25 DAX stocks rose, 5 fell on turnover of 213,456,000 shares. Yields on 10-year Bunds fell to 3.27% from 3.30% yesterday. The euro rose to $1.2242. MLP higher after agreeing to sell its life insurance units for about 270 million euros to expand in Germany. R. Stahl rose after company said its order backlog rose 9.5% in the first five months of the year. PC-Ware rose as the company's full-year net income more than doubled.

France's CAC 40 rose 35.76 points to 4220.91 on bargain hunting. 29 CAC stocks rose, and 10 fell on turnover of 137,731,462 shares. Yields of 10-year bonds fell to 3.29% from 3.31% yesterday. Pernod Ricard rose after winning battle to buy Allied Domecq after Constellation Brands backed out of battle. EADS rose after Airbus won 200 orders at the Paris Air Show this week, topping Boeing. Arcelor rose after ABN Amro raised shares to "add" from "reduce". Geodis fell as company expects higher taxes to cut earnings in coming year.

Asian markets also rose on Friday. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 climbed 97.65 points, or 0.86%, to 11,514.03. The Nikkei 225 rose for the sixth straight day. The broader TOPIX rose 1.0% to 1172. Sentiment was boosted by gains on Wall Street. Plus, higher oil and commodity prices supported broad gains in basic materials and energy stocks. Market internals breadth on the first section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange was 1249-263 positive.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 78.50 points, or 0.57%, to 13,912.03, bounding back from a weak session yesterday. Advancers outpaced decliners on the Hang Seng index by 24 to 5. And stock market gains were accompanied by higher volume. The government announced the unemployment rate dropped to 5.7%, a three-year low. A strong response to the Bank of Communications IPO also contributed to the market's firm tone.

Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P lost 21.14 points, or 0.21%, to close at 9,947.57.

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