European stocks rally at open on surprise BoJ stimulus

AFP, Friday 31 Oct 2014

European stocks rallied at the start of trading on Friday, as investors welcomed the Bank of Japan's surprise stimulus boost, dealers said.

In initial deals, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index gained 1.24 percent to 6,543.59 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 soared 1.85 percent to 9,283.40 points and in Paris the CAC 40 jumped 1.74 percent to 4,213.47.

The BoJ ramped up its vast monetary easing programme on Friday, in a shock move aimed at reviving growth just as the Federal Reserve winds down its own stimulus spree.

"Just as the Fed takes away the punch bowl, the BoJ has turned up with a crate of sake," said Capital Spreads dealer Jonathan Sudaria.

The BoJ said on Friday it would add up to 20 trillion yen ($182 billion) to its current asset-buying scheme, bringing it to 80 trillion yen annually.

Friday's move is the first since the BoJ launched its huge bond-buying scheme in April last year as part of Tokyo's wider plan to conquer years of deflation and jumpstart the economy.

"The move by the BoJ was not only unexpected, but shows the divergence between the major central banks around the globe as the Federal Reserve has just ended monetary stimulus and the BoJ is speeding up the printing presses," added analyst Angus Campbell at traders FxPro.

In reaction, Tokyo's Nikkei index jumped 4.83 percent, adding 755.56 points to 16,413.76 -- its highest level since November 2007.

Hong Kong stocks climbed 1.25 percent, Shanghai added 1.22 percent and Sydney closed up 0.92 percent.

Sentiment was also boosted after the United States released forecast-busting economic growth data on Thursday.

Official data showed that the world's biggest economy grew a better-than-expected 3.5 percent in the three months to the end of September.

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