Aug. 10 - A better day for European markets, despite continuing concern over the health of French banks. Kirsty Basset reports.
European markets finished in positive territory on Thursday for the first time in more than a week. But it was still a day of turbulence with more concern about French banks' exposure to euro zone debt. European shares rose in the afternoon on the back of a better than expected U.S. jobs report, which helped ease fears the United States' economy is headed for recession. Markets were also cheered by news that French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet next Tuesday, amid ongoing doubts over Europe's ability to solve its sovereign debt crisis. French banks ended the day in positive territory after a massive sell off a day earlier. Shares in Societe Generale finished up 3.7 per cent, after falls as low as 8 per cent, and losses yesterday of 15 per cent. And BNP Paribas finished up 0.3 per cent, leaving traders like Robert Halver from Baader Bank, happy. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROBERT HALVER FROM BAADER BANK AG, SAYING: "That's a nice reaction, a technical rebound today, there's no doubt about it. Due to the massive sell-off we've seen in the last couple of days and weeks, I guess the markets have dried up like the Gobi desert. But I guess if this is the bottom, it depends on whether the political uncertainty will fade. I'm not sure about it but anyway, it's a good day today." Markets had earlier been on edge over reports that one bank in Asia was cutting credit lines to major French lenders, while others were reviewing their positions. London's FTSE finished up 3.2 per cent, Germany's DAX was up 3.4 per cent and despite concerns about French banks, the CAC finished up 2.9 per cent. Kirsty Basset, Reuters.