Europe close: Stocks jump after better-than-expected data out of Asia
Stocks across the Continent extended their recent gains, tracking the fresh highs being set on Wall Street and following the release of stronger-than-expected economic data in China.
"China released some broadly positive economic reports, which has boosted sentiment around the globe," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
On Friday, China's National Bureau of Statistics reported that industrial production in the Asian giant accelerated from a year-on-year pace of 6.2% for November to 6.9% in December, easily outpacing forecasts for a rise of 5.9%.
Reports on fixed asset investment and retail sales also came in ahead of economists' projections.
By the end of trading, the Stoxx 600 was up by 0.96% at 424.56, while the Dax was ahead by 0.72% to 13,526.15 and the FTSE Mibtel added 0.84% to 24,141.07.
Shares of basic resources companies were especially strong on the back of the latest economic data out of China, with the Stoxx 600's gauge for that sector jumping by 2.03% to reach its highest level since early 2019.
In parallel, euro/dollar was down by 0.36% at 1.1097 while front month Brent crude oil futures added 0.37% to $64.86 a barrel on the ICE.
The economic data calendar on the Continent was light on Friday.
Nonetheless, some media outlets were calling attention to data released the day before showing a very sharp drop in business confidence at the start of the year.
Eurostat confirmed that the year-on-year rate of consumer price increases accelerated from 1.0% for November to 1.3% in December, as expected.
In a separate report, the European Union's statistical agency said that construction output in the single currency bloc rose at a month-on-month pace of 0.7% in November.
Shares of Electricite de France leapt to the top of the leaderboard for the Stoxx 600 after Paris unveiled plans for a wholesaler price scheme that some market commentary said could boost its bottom line.
Bounding higher right behind was Swedish Orphan Biovitrum on the back of the rare disease specialist's better-than-expected 2019 profits and sales published the night before.
Stock of Hello Fresh SE was also higher, extending its recent record highs.
Going the other way, Casino Guichard-Perrachon skidded lower after the French retailer cut its projection for full-year 2019 profit growth from 10.0% to 5.0% due to the impact of the nationwide strikes on its fourth quarter trading.