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European stocks buoyed as Dow keeps above 10,000

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[October 16, 2009]  LONDON (AP) -- European stock markets rose modestly Friday after another strong finish on Wall Street, with more U.S. earnings reports expected to drive market sentiment later in the day.

In Europe, the FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was up 27.41 points, or 0.5 percent, at 5,250.36 while Germany's DAX rose 24.03 points, or 0.4 percent, at 5,854.80. France's CAC-40 was 8.58 points, or 0.2 percent, higher at 3,892.41.

The continued strength in U.S. stocks -- despite early losses, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 10,000 for the second day running -- was the catalyst for the early gains in Europe.

RestaurantWall Street was poised to open modestly higher. Dow futures rose 12 points, or 0.1 percent, at 9,976 while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 futures were up 1.9 points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,091.70.

However, that could all change -- as in previous days this week, much will depend on the U.S. third-quarter earnings figures. Those due to report Friday include Bank of America Corp., General Electric Co. and Halliburton Co.

"It will yet again be a day dominated by US earnings data as before the U.S. open numbers from both GE and Bank of America are released," said James Hughes, market analyst at CMC Markets.

So far the earnings out of the U.S. have generally impressed. Banks, such as JP Morgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., have seemingly got their finances back into shape. The financial sector, which led the market down at the outset of the crisis, generally outperformed other sectors, leading the market on the way up since March's lows.

Meanwhile, bellwether companies like Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, presented a fairly rosy outlook statement. In particular, investors will be looking to see how much companies have been able to drive up earnings by generating revenues as opposed to cost-cutting measures.

Earlier, stocks in Asia were mixed, though Thailand's market rebounded after falling 7 percent over two days amid panic about the health of 81-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

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Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 stock average rose 18.91 points, or 0.2 percent, to close at 10,257.56, while Taiwan gained 0.1 percent. China's Shanghai index fell 0.1 percent and Singapore's market also shed 0.1 percent.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index fell 69.18, or 0.3 percent, to close at 21,929.80. South Korea's Kospi dropped 1.1 percent and Australia's benchmark fell 0.5 percent.

Earlier, oil prices continued a weeklong rally, jumping above $78 a barrel for a brief while, after U.S. gasoline inventories unexpectedly fell.

However, those gains were erased and benchmark crude for November delivery fell 25 cents to $77.33 a barrel. The contract rose $2.40 to settle at $77.58 on Thursday.

The euro fell 0.3 percent to $1.49 while the dollar rose a further 0.7 percent to 91.22 yen.

[Associated Press; By PAN PYLAS]

AP Business Writer Kelly Olsen in Seoul, South Korea contributed to this report.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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