LONDON (Reuters) – European shares powered higher on Friday, with the British and Swiss benchmarks hitting records, propelled by optimism for a strengthening regional economy and gains in U.S. equities overnight.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index was up 0.4 percent, holding at a two-month high, while Euro zone blue chips .STOXX50E advanced 0.5 percent, building on strong gains in the previous session.
The first trading week of the new year was shaping up to be the best for Euro zone stocks .STOXXE since last May, as the index has shrugged off a strengthening of the single currency that can dampen export earnings.
U.S. jobs numbers on Thursday showed U.S. private employers added more jobs than expected in December, propelling the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI past the 25,000-mark for the first time.
Euro zone stocks were set for a weekly gain of 2.5 percent.
UK big caps were supported by a muted pound as big international health stocks and consumer staples added the most to gains.
European autos .SXAP was the top-gaining sector, up 1 percent, while almost every other sector traded in positive territory.
Reporting by Kit Rees; editing by Tom Pfeiffer
Read First From Source http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/companyNews/~3/authHhNbXlc/swiss-index-ftse-hit-records-as-european-stocks-jump-idUSL8N1P00Z0
Learn More about Forex SignalForex Signal Service