European Markets at Close Report on Februuary 26, 2016> Stocks End 1.6% Up on Oil, Miners< DAX Up 2%< RBS Tank
Arjun Kharpal, Alexandra Gibbs
European markets finished sharply higher on Friday, buoyed by a recovery in mining stocks and oil prices, on top of a positive set of company updates.

The pan-European STOXX 600 came off session highs, but closed up 1.6 percent provisionally, with almost all sectors closing in the green. On the week, the STOXX 600 also closed up around 1.6 percent.
London's FTSE 100 jumped 1.4 percent, supported by a rally in mining stocks, while France's CAC was 1.6 percent up and Germany's DAX jumped 2 percent.


FTSE FTSE 100 Index 6103.72
90.91 1.51% 640245915
DAX DAX Index 9531.72
200.24 2.15% 76306450
CAC 40 CAC 40 Index 4321.02
72.57 1.71% 92915759
IBEX 35 IBEX 35 Idx 8359.40
143.80 1.75% 223014817
Stocks were boosted by a number of factors on Friday, from the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) figure, to a recovery in oil prices.
U.S. GDP increased at an annual rate of 1 percent instead of the previous estimate of 0.7 percent, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters expected a figure of 0.4 percent.
The higher trade also comes as finance ministers from the Group of 20 (G-20) meet in Shanghai to try and assuage fears over global economic growth. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has urged the G-20 to come up with an urgent policy response to stuttering growth, echoing a similar call from the International Monetary Fund.
"The recent call by the IMF earlier this week, followed by the OECD this morning, for the G20 to take bold action at their meeting this weekend could also be a factor behind the rebound in the latter part of this week, at a time when data showed that global trade slowed sharply in 2015, led largely by a slowdown in emerging markets," Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, wrote in a Friday note.
Oil prices rebounded on Friday, as strong U.S. demand in gasoline demand and hopes of OPEC action helped offset worries surrounding oversupply. Brent came off sessions highs, hovering around $36, while U.S. WTI crude was up around $33.40.
With Brent on track for its first weekly gain in a month, oil stocks jumped, including top performer Tullow Oil over 7 percent higher, with Shell and BP also sharply higher.
Basic Resources also rallied, as metal prices posted strong gains. Anglo American and Glencore were both sharply higher, up over 7.5 and 6.5 percent respectively.
Aside from commodities, the People's Bank of China (PBOC) head governor Zhou Xiaochuan said the central bank still has policy tools available to combat any downside risks to the economy, highlighting potential further easing. This gave a helping hand to stocks, easing concerns over China's growth.

Elsewhere, U.S. stocks traded slightly higher Friday, as investors eyed oil and the latest data reports, while markets in Asia ended mostly higher.

Earnings: RBS tanks

On the earnings front, Royal Bank of Scotland reported a full-year loss of £1.97 billion ($2.76 billion), narrowing from the £3.47 billion recorded the year before. RBS, which is owned partly by the government after being bailed out during the financial crisis, has not turned a profit since 2008. The bank's stock tanked as much as 10 percent before paring some gains, currently off some 7 percent.
Elsewhere in the banking sector, Denmark's Erste Bank was off some 1.5 percent despite the lender reporting better-than-expected fourth-quarter net profit.
And International Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, posted a 65 percent rise in annual operating profit, beating analyst estimates. Shares however were sharply lower, off more than 4 percent.
Spain's Gamesa was up 5 percent after Societe Generale raised its price target for the stock.
Meanwhile, Spain's Telefonica reported a fourth-quarter net loss of 1.83 billion euros ($2 billion) versus a net profit of 303 million euros a year earlier. For the full-year however, Telefonica's net profit was 2.75 billion euros. The telecoms company expects revenue growth of over 4 percent this year. Shares reacted negatively.
In other news, the London Stock Exchange said its merger with Deutsche Boerse will be a U.K. PLC domiciled in London and will have headquarters in London and Frankfurt. On completion of the deal, current chief executive Xavier Rolet will step down from his role, with Carsten Kengeter taking the reigns. Shares in the LSE were sharply higher.
Fashion house, Burberry was up some 7 percent, after Nomura upgraded it from "neutral" to "buy".


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