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The pan-European benchmark ended the week higher by 1.1%, its third weekly gain in four weeks. It is up 19% so far this year.
Greece: Greece’s Athex Composite GD, +3.39% closed up 3.3% at 761.56, but moved off session highs after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers concluded without any agreement related to economic reforms needed for Greece to receive more bailout funds.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the Eurogroup finance ministers, said Greece is running out of cash. Economists at Credit Suisse on Friday said Greece could keep operations moving until July without running out of cash. Read: Greece can survive deadlock until July.
Analysts ahead of Friday’s Eurogroup meeting said it appeared unlikely any major breakthrough would emerge, but reports late Thursday following discussions between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras raised the prospect that more progress had been made.
Greek bond prices fell, pushing the yield on 2-year debt up by 72 basis points to 25.5%, and the yield on 10-year bonds up 38 basis points to 12.5%. Prices and yields move inversely.
Germany: Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +0.74% closed up 0.7% at 11,810.85. The widely watched Ifo sentiment survey for April rose to 108.6 from 107.9 in March, reaching its highest level since June 2014. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected the indicator to rise to 108.4.
The findings from Ifo Insitute “could add to evidence that eurozone’s growth engine is gathering steam, despite the weak preliminary manufacturing and service-sector PMIs on Thursday,” said Marshall Gittler, head of global currency strategy, at IronFX Global Ltd., in a note early Friday. The effects from lower oil prices and a weaker euro are “likely to slowly feed through the real economy going forward and could provide further support to domestic sentiment.”
The euro EURUSD, +0.00% late Friday traded at $1.0870, up from late Thursday’s level at around $1.0826.
On other major stock indexes, France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.44% rose 0.4% to 5,201.45, and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.24% gained 0.2% to 7,070.70, led by the climb in HSBC shares.
Outside the technology and consumer-discretionary sectors the mood on Wall Street was less sanguine.
The S&P 500 SPX, +0.23% ended 4.77 points, or 0.2%, higher at 2,117.70, narrowly topping its previous record close reached on March 2. The benchmark index recorded a 1.8% gain over the week.
The Nasdaq COMP, +0.71% ended the session up 36.02 points, or 0.7%, at 5,092.08, and gained 3.3% over the week.
Meanwhile, the Dow DJIA, +0.12% added 21.45 points, or 0.1%, to 18,080.14 and gained 1.4% over the week.
Nicholas Colas, chief market strategist at global brokerage Convergex, said Friday’s gains on Nasdaq were a good sign.
“The new highs on Nasdaq are impressive because of how much conviction there is — it was not an accidental rally. Today’s follow-through suggests there is genuine confidence among investors, who are comfortable with current valuations,” Colas said.
Reasons to like tech: Guillaume Duchesne, equity strategist at BGL BNP Paribas in Luxembourg, said at the moment investors are gravitating toward stocks that are a play on stable growth, and information technology is one key part of this.
“The situation is quite different from 15 years ago during the IT bubble,” he said. “Growth evolution is really positive for IT stocks, because you have some good ideas and good evolution related to big data and cloud computing.”
Duchesne said the sector remains a “high-quality safe haven” and valuations aren’t very lofty, which is a big incentive for investors.