European markets rose Friday as investor sentiment turned positive after the European Central Bank confirmed in its policy meeting at Ljubljana, Slovenia, Thursday that it was ready to commence its bond-buying program which is aimed at reducing the debt burden faced by the euro zone.
The French CAC 40 index was up 0.49 percent or 16.51 points to 3417.71. Shares of Technip SA advanced 1.74 percent and those of Sanofi climbed 1.08 percent.
London’s FTSE 100 index rose 0.34 percent or 19.69 points to 5847.47. Shares of Evraz Plc gained 1.71 percent and shares of Rio Tinto PLC were up 1.20 percent.
The German DAX 30 index advanced 0.35 percent or 25.88 points to 7331.09. Shares of ThyssenKrupp AG rose 0.81 percent and those of Adidas AG gained 0.63 percent.
Spain's IBEX 35 was up 0.55 percent or 43.10 points to 7855.90. Shares of Inditex SA rose 1.31 percent and shares of Acciona SA advanced 1.48 percent.
On the monthly policy meeting of the ECB held Thursday, President Mario Draghi made it clear that the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program would be activated as soon as conditions were met by governments.
The ECB's recent promise to buy peripheral government bonds without limit has certainly helped boost the market sentiment. The ECB remained firmly on hold at Thursday’s meeting but the press conference failed to bring more clarity over the timing of the next move.
“The option of a rate cut was not even discussed and while the ECB retained a dovish bias, risks may now be skewed towards a delayed a rate cut based in particular on Draghi’s insistence on restoring monetary transmission first before conventional tools can be used again,” Credit Agricole said in a note.
Talking about Greece, Draghi repeated his view that any re-profiling or re-scheduling of Greek debt holdings under the Securities Market Program would amount to monetary financing.
Meanwhile, the market players are still waiting for Spain to officially seek bailout funds to reduce its borrowing costs.