GLOBAL MARKETS-Shares, euro rise on Greek hopes, German data

Angela Moon
Reuters Middle East

* Wall Street climbs in short session, led by tech stocks

* European shares post best week so far in 2012

* Euro hits 3-week high vs dollar on optimism about a Greek


NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) - Global stocks and the euro

gained on Friday on signs of progress in talks on releasing aid

to Greece and after an influential German survey found business

sentiment had improved in Europe's largest economy.

U.S. stocks rose for a fifth day, getting a lift from

bellwether technology shares such as Intel and

Microsoft, both up about 2 percent. An index of

semiconductor stocks gained 1.8 percent, while the S&P

information technology sector index rose 1.6 percent.

Trading on Wall Street ended early after markets were closed

Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. With many investors still

on holiday on Friday, volume was low. About 2.8 billion shares

traded on the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and the NYSE

MKT, compared with the daily average for the year to date of 6.5


The light volume exacerbated moves, and shares of big-cap

technology companies climbed as investors took advantage of the

day's upward momentum to add to their positions.

"Anyone that was on the sidelines waiting for a pullback

like the one we just had in some of the tech names, they're

looking for any glimpse of strong price action for 'permission'

to enter into those (stocks)," said Todd Salamone, director of

research at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio

Microsoft helped lift the Nasdaq, gaining 2.8 percent to

$27.70, while Apple Inc rose 1.7 percent to $571.50.

From mid-September to mid-November, the S&P tech sector

shed about 13 percent as the broader market also


Research In Motion surged on optimism about its

soon-to-be-launched BlackBerry 10 devices, which will vie

against Apple's iPhone and Android-based smartphones.

RIM was up 13.6 percent at $11.66.

Friday also marked the start of the holiday shopping season

and gave investors a reason to scoop up retailers' shares on

hopes that consumers will go out to spend en masse.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 172.79

points, or 1.35 percent, at 13,009.68. The Standard & Poor's 500

Index was up 18.10 points, or 1.30 percent, at 1,409.13.

The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 40.30 points, or 1.38

percent, at 2,966.85.

For the week, the Dow was up 3.3 percent, the S&P 500 rose

3.6 percent, and the Nasdaq gained 4 percent.

European shares posted their best weekly gain so far this

year after rising for a fifth day on Friday. The

FTSEurofirst-300 index of pan-European shares rose 0.6

percent to end at 1,110.45.

Germany's BASF and Bayer led a rally

in chemical stocks after a German business morale index

surprised with its first increase in seven months, raising the

prospect that Europe's largest economy can regain some momentum.

Also helping the market, confidence in the global economic

outlook got a big boost from the HSBC flash Manufacturing

Purchasing Managers Index for China, which pointed to an

expansion in activity after seven consecutive quarters of


The Chinese data followed a report on Wednesday showing U.S.

manufacturing grew in November at its quickest pace in five

months, indicating strong economic growth in the fourth quarter.

The euro rose as high as $1.2943 on Reuters data,

breaking above resistance at $1.2910, its 55-day moving average.

It was last trading at $1.2941, up 0.5 percent on the day.

Against the yen, the euro also hit a seven-month high of

106.73 yen and was last at 106.65 yen, up 0.4 percent.

MSCI's world equity index was up 1.1 percent

on Friday at 329.92 points. Earlier, MSCI's broadest index of

Asia Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.7

percent for a weekly gain of 2.6 percent, also its best week for

two months.

Optimism about a deal to help Greece, hopes that U.S.

lawmakers can agree on a solution to avoid a fiscal crisis, and

data showing an improving global economic outlook have driven a

rally in riskier asset markets this week.

Greece said the International Monetary Fund had relaxed its

debt-cutting target for the country, suggesting lenders were

closer to a deal for a vital aid tranche to be paid. But other

sources involved in the talks cautioned that the funding gap was

far bigger than Greece suggested.

"While we wouldn't want to understate the challenges of

reaching agreement on Greece, news reports have described some

of the remaining obstacles as technical and legal, and thus the

hurdles to a deal do not seem insurmountable," said Nick

Bennenbroek, head of currency strategy at Wells Fargo in New


Euro-zone finance ministers, the IMF and the European

Central Bank (ECB) failed earlier this week to agree on how to

get the country's debt down to a sustainable level. They will

make a third attempt at resolving the issue on Monday.

U.S. government debt prices mostly dipped on Friday in light

post Thanksgiving holiday trading. Bonds' safe-haven allure

faded as investors scooped up stocks.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was

down 4/32, with the yield at 1.6917 percent.


In commodities, gold rose above $1,750 an ounce for the

first time in more than a month on Friday, gaining 1.3 percent

as dollar weakness and options-related buying triggered a

technical breakout.

Oil rose above $111 a barrel on Friday as the

better-than-expected German business sentiment data helped ease

worries about demand in the euro-zone economies, boosting the

euro against the dollar, while fresh protests broke out in Egypt

and led to supply concerns.

Brent crude futures were up 85 cents at $111.40 a

barrel at 1734 GMT. U.S. crude was up 92 cents at $88.32.

The U.S. market, which was closed on Thursday for the

Thanksgiving holiday, will not issue a formal settlement price

until later Friday.

On Thursday, Israel began withdrawing its army, which had

been poised to invade the Gaza Strip in pursuit of militants

that had fired rockets into Israel.

Although the Gaza ceasefire is holding, violence has emerged

in Egypt. In Cairo's Tahrir Square, thousands of people

participated in demonstrations against President Mohamed Mursi.

Police fired teargas into the crowd in an attempt to disburse


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