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US stocks rebound on tech earnings, London hits new record

London's FTSE 100 has hit records in four straight sessions (Tolga Akmen)
London's FTSE 100 has hit records in four straight sessions (Tolga Akmen)

Buoyant big tech earnings lifted US stocks on Friday while London scaled another peak as investors tracked a series of takeover bids for UK companies.

The tech heavy Nasdaq led the way on Wall Street, adding more than two percent as traders shrugged off official data showing that a key measure of inflation favored by the US Federal Reserve had accelerated in March.

The broader-based S&P added 1.0 percent while the Dow was 0.4 percent in the green as major European indices also rose.

The markets had fallen on Thursday over concerns about spending at Facebook owner Meta and slower-than-expected US economic growth in the first quarter.


But the mood changed after Microsoft and Google owner Alphabet released forecast-beating earnings after markets closed on Thursday, soothing worries that a tech-fueled global markets rally might have been overdone.

Shares in Alphabet, which had announced a dividend and the authorization of $70 billion in share buybacks, charged 10 percent higher in Friday's session.

Microsoft rose 1.8 percent after reporting a 20-percent jump in quarterly profits to $21.9 billion.

"What a difference a day makes, or even five minutes," said David Morrison, analyst at Trade Nation.

Investors were also digesting the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, which rose more than expected at an annual rate of 2.7 percent in March after reaching 2.5 percent in February.

That figure pushes back the chances of interest rate cuts this summer. The Fed holds a policy meeting next week.

"The latest PCE report reiterates that it's too early for a victory lap" in the fight against inflation, said eToro analyst Bret Kenwell.

- London record highs -

In Europe, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index crowned a week which saw it advance three percent with a new record high close of 8,139.83 points. A 0.8 advance for the day left it just off a fresh intraday record of 8,146.79.

Frankfurt added 1.4 percent and Paris 0.9 percent.

Shares in British multinational mining company Anglo American rose more than two percent after falling earlier in the day following the company's rejection of a nearly $39 billion offer from Australian rival BHP.

Anglo American on Friday dismissed the bid as "highly unattractive" and "opportunistic."

Cybersecurity firm Darktrace said it had accepted a $5.3-billion takeover offer from US private equity firm Thoma Bravo, sending its share price shooting higher.

"What a fantastic week for the FTSE 100. We've had new record highs, yet more takeover action, and everyone is talking about UK stocks in a positive way," said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

"The bidding bonanza for UK-listed firms goes on, and this is acting as a constant reminder to global investors that, even with the FTSE 100 at a record high, UK stocks look cheap compared to their US cousins," said IG chief market analyst Chris Beauchamp.

In Asia, major equity markets rose, while the yen hit a fresh 34-year low after the Bank of Japan stood pat on interest rates, a month after raising them for the first time in 17 years.

The unit broke 157 to the dollar on Friday, fueling fresh speculation of an intervention after several officials suggested readiness to support it.

- Key figures around 2030 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 38,239.66 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 1.0 percent at 5,099.96 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 2.0 percent at 15,927.90 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.8 percent at 8,139.83 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.9 percent at 8,088.24 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX: UP 1.4 percent at 18,161.01 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 1.4 percent at 5,006.85 (close)

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.8 percent at 37,934.76 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 2.1 percent at 17,651.15 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.2 percent at 3,088.64 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 157.89 yen from 155.65 yen on Thursday

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0699 from $1.0730

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2496 from $1.2514

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.60 pence from 85.74 pence

Brent North Sea Crude: UP 0.6 percent at $89.50 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.3 percent at $83.85 per barrel