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Stocks up on Europe debt fix hopes

World stocks have risen amid growing optimism that European leaders will approve aggressive plans by the end of the week to rescue the region from a debt crisis that has rocked financial markets for months.

Benchmark oil rose above 101 dollars per barrel, while the dollar fell against the euro and the yen.

European stocks tracked earlier gains in Asia. London's FTSE 100 rose 0.9% to 5,617.16, Germany's DAX added 1.4% to 6,110.91 and France's CAC-40 climbed 1.5% to 3,227.68.

Wall Street also appeared set for advances, with Dow Jones industrial futures rising 0.8% to 12,210 and S&P 500 futures gaining 0.8% to 1,265.40.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7% to end at 8,722.17 - its highest close in a month. South Korea's Kospi added 0.9% to 1,919.42 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.6% to 19,240.58.

Mainland Chinese shares edged higher, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index climbing 0.3% to 2,332.73, ending a five-session losing streak.

Sentiment was boosted by a report that European leaders might create a second bailout fund to supplement the one they have already agreed to. The second fund would nearly double the capacity of Europe's financial rescue programmes, the Financial Times reported.

The plan involves allowing the existing 440 billion euro (£377 billion) bailout fund to continue running when a new 500 billion euro (£428.4 billion) facility comes into force in mid-2012, almost doubling the rescue system's firepower.

Shares in camera and medical equipment maker Olympus fell 5.2% in Tokyo, a day after an independent panel determined that the company had falsified accounting records to cover up huge investment losses from the 1990s. The company risks being removed from the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

But other Japanese exporters posted solid gains. Sony jumped 5.9% and Ricoh climbed 3.4%.


From Belfast Telegraph