European markets steady after Chinese shares rise

London, Jan 8 (IANS) Chinese shares rose and European markets opened slightly higher on Friday at the end of what has been a torrid first week of the year, the BBC reported.

It was a week in which trading in China’s markets was twice halted by a circuit-breaker, before the authorities decided to suspend the safety measure.

The Shanghai Composite closed 2 percent higher on Friday, but still ended the week down by about 10 percent.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 21.5 points, or 0.36 percent, at 5,975.5. In Frankfurt, the Dax was up 0.33 percent, while the Cac 40 in Paris was barely changed.

On Thursday, markets in Europe and the US recorded steep losses after trading in China’s stock markets closed within the first 30 minutes.

Trading in China was volatile again on Friday, the first day since the suspension of the circuit-breaker.

The Chinese central bank also took steps to strengthen the yuan after the currency’s weakness was taken as a sign of problems for the economy.

Market attention now turns to the US unemployment figures, which are due out later in the day.

“It takes quite something to relegate the US employment report to a footnote in this week’s trading activity, but the China induced volatility seen over the past few days appears to have done the trick,” said Michael Hewson from CMC Markets — British financial derivatives dealer.

“As we come to the end of the week European equity markets look on course to post some of the worst weekly losses since the previous China induced volatility, seen last August,” Hewson added.

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