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Stocks - European Markets Bounce on Soothing Words from Central Banks

By Geoffrey Smith -- Europe's stock markets bounced sharply at opening on Monday, in the wake of statements from central banks around the world indicating they won't let panic selling push the world into a financial crisis.

By 3:30 AM ET (0830 GMT), the benchmark Stoxx 600 index was up 7.6 points or 2.0% at 381.64, while the German DAX index was up 1.6% and the FTSE 100 was up 2.5%.

The move was a response to a string of reassuring statements from central banks, even if the statements themselves didn't vary much from what markets already knew about central bank reaction functions. The Federal Reserve had started the ball rolling on Friday (after the European close) with a statement that it would act "as appropriate" to support the economy, while the Bank of Japan was somewhat more explicit on Monday in a statement that singled out further quantitative easing as a possibility for keeping markets orderly and liquidity ample.

The Bank of England, meanwhile, said it’s working with the U.K. government and others “to ensure all necessary steps are taken to protect financial and monetary stability.”

“The bank continues to monitor developments and is assessing its potential impacts on the global and U.K. economies and financial systems,” a spokesperson said.

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