LONDON: European stocks climbed Friday, with London striking a fresh record peak on takeover news and after Greece pledged new plans to reform its bailout, dealers said.
In morning deals, London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index soared to a record-high 6,987.92 points, extending this week’s gains won on the back of the British budget and cooling US rate hike hopes.
The FTSE stood at 6,977.1 points in midday deals, up 0.21 percent from Thursday’s closing level.
The CAC 40 index in Paris won 0.52 percent to 5,063.20 points and Frankfurt’s DAX 30 index jumped 1.24 percent to 12,046.
“It is understandably a quiet day in the financial markets with the lack of any major market moving events. But that has not stopped the FTSE from edging to a fresh record high today,” said Forex.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada.
“The index of top UK shares is led by … CRH, which rallied on announcement of a planned multi-billion-euro merger with Holcim and Lafarge.”
Rivals Lafarge and Holcim announced Friday that they had agreed new terms and repaired cracks that had threatened their merger to create the world’s biggest cement company.
In reaction, Ireland’s London-listed building materials group CRH saw its shares surge 5.54 percent to 1,848 pence.
Last year Holcim and Lafarge announced plans to create a cement titan employing more than 130,000 people which would generate annual underlying profits of 6.5 billion euros.
But with the sharp rise in the Swiss franc having driven up Holcim’s value since the merger was agreed last year, the Swiss firm had declared Sunday that the previous terms were no longer appropriate.