- German trade surplus gains
- German industrial output rises
- Bundesbank raises growth estimate for Germany
- Nowotny says ECB decision was unanimous
- US non-farm payroll report due
FTSE 100: 0.34%
CAC 40: 0.40%
FTSE MIB: 0.70%
IBEX 35: 1.13%
Stoxx 600: 0.39%
European stocks rallied as investors weighed German data and awaited the US non-farm payrolls report.
Germany's trade balance in April rose to €17.4bn from €16.6bn a month earlier, surprising analysts who had expected it to narrow to €15.1bn.
Exports increased 3% in April following a 1.8% drop in March, beating the market consensus of a 1.3% rise. Imports climbed 0.1% in April after a 1.1% decline the prior month, against estimates for a 0.8% gain.
A separate report out of Germany showed industrial production was up 0.2% in April after a 0.6% drop a month before. Economists had pencilled in a 0.4% increase.
Also in Europe's biggest economy, Bundesbank announced its update for German economic forecasts, cutting inflation estimates, but increasing its projection for growth in the Eurozone's largest economy.
Germany's central bank said that it now expects gross domestic product (GDP) to expand 1.9% compared to its prior estimate of 1.7%. Its forecast for 2015 and 2016 settled at 2% and 1.8%, respectively.
The Bundesbank cut its inflation forecast from 1.3% to 1.1% for this year. It also noted expectations for inflation to rise to 1.5% next year and 1.9% in 2016.
In the UK, the Office for National Statistics estimated the deficit on trade in goods and services to have been £2.5bn in April, against £1.1bn in March.
ECB policy decision was unanimous, says Nowotny
After the European Central Bank (ECB) cut interest rates to record lows and announced a series of measures to fight deflation risks and support the Eurozone economy, ECB Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny affirmed that, despite discrepancies, the decision was fully supported by the entire team of the monetary authority.
The ECB cut the deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.10% and slashed interest rates by 10 basis points to 0.15%.
Nowotny openly admitted that the discussion at the heart of the ECB on the decisions intended to improve credit flows and move money markets was long and "wasn't easy", but stated that the final conclusion was "unanimous" at the end of the meeting that concluded on Thursday.
US non-farm payrolls
Forecasts suggest The Labor Department's report may show US non-farm payrolls increased by 215,000 in May, down from a 288,000 gain the previous month.
The unemployment rate is expected to rise to 6.4% in May from 6.3% in April.
The Fed is monitoring the labour market closely in determining whether to continue tapering bond purchases and in considering the timing of a potential first interest rate increase since 2006.
Commerzbank jumped after the lender's Chief Executive Officer Martin Blessing predicted that the ECB will find no problems during an audit.
Centrica advanced after The Times reported that Qatar or Electricite de France SA may bid for the owner of British Gas.
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA slumped after the Italian bank said it will offer new shares
to investors in a rights offer.
BNP Paribas edged lower after a report said New York banking regulator Benjamin Lawsky wants France's largest bank to remove Chief Operating Officer Georges Chodron de Courcel.
The euro fell 0.20% to $1.3632.
Brent crude futures rose $0.293 to $109.110 per barrel, according to the ICE.