UK stocks : FTSEurofirst up 0.9 pct
The FTSEurofirst 300 closed the last trading day of February up 10.89 points, or 0.9 percent, at 1,171.47, and has now recouped most of the losses sustained on Tuesday after Italian elections ended in a stalemate.
Pledges by the European Central Bank and U.S. Federal Reserve this week to sustain steps to inject liquidity into markets have propped up equities.
"Markets have bounced well from the sell off earlier in the week. Volumes, however, have been low and without the support from central banks and governments the indexes would be much lower than the levels we are currently at," Jawaid Afsar, sales trader at SecurEquity, said.
Underlining Europe's problems, data on Thursday showed Spain's economy shrank for the sixth straight quarter from October to December, and at its fastest quarterly pace since mid-2009.
But the unprecedented economic stimulus has helped to boost asset prices and kept a lid on bond and cash yields, which has benefited equities.
"It (still) looks like an attractive opportunity to move out of quality bonds, particularly gilts and into equity," Guy Foster, head of investment strategy at Brewin Dolphin, said.
Funds invested continued flow into European equities as institutional investors moved away from lower-yielding money markets on expectations of further monetary stimulus and possible inflation, Lipper and EPFR Global data shows.
"At the moment however there's still more evidence of this rally
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