The FTSE 100 and European stock markets were slightly up on Friday with the BT (BT-A.L) merger approval driving sentiment.
London's benchmark index was buoyed by the announcement that BT Group and Warner Bros Disovery Inc's (WBD) joint venture (JV) had been approved by the UK’s competition watchdog, allowing the creation of a new sports channel in the UK and Ireland.
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Meanwhile, oil prices are in the green, with Brent crude (BZ=F) hovering around $104 a barrel.
"Volatility was the winner overnight, with a multitude of data points and events leaving market price action messier than a teenager's bedroom. The European Central Bank (ECB) surprised markets by lifting policy rates by 0.50%, ending over a decade of negative interest rates," Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, at OANDA, said.
"The euro has already been rallying, but its gains were tempered by the collapse of the Italian government, and post the ECB meeting, German/Italian bond spreads started widening noticeably. The ECB’s Lagarde said policy decisions would be made on a meeting-by-meeting basis going forward, tossing their forward guidance out," he added.
In Asia, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 (^N225) advanced 0.4% to 27,914 while the Hang Seng in Hong Kong (^HSI) climbed 0.3% to 20,635. The Shanghai Composite (000001.SS) was muted, inching just 0.06% to close in the green, at 3,273.