(MENAFN- AFP)The 2018 global equity rally continued apace Friday, with Asian and European markets picking up the baton from record-breaking Wall Street.
Dealers are turning their attention to the release later in the day of key US non-farm payrolls data, which is expected to show the world's top economy continuing to improve, analysts say.
In Europe, Frankfurt stocks jumped 1.1 percent and Paris won 0.9 percent in value.
London meanwhile added 0.3 percent after hitting a new intra-day record peak at 7,724.55 points, buoyed by the weak pound which lifts the share prices of multi-national companies.
"It looks like the first week of 2018 is going to end on a high, with the European indices in a very good mood ahead of a promising US session," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.
"Turning to this afternoon and this Friday's main attraction is still to come: the first US non-farm jobs report of the year."
He added: "The prospect of all this has the Dow Jones (Index) more excited than the dollar -- the greenback has been remarkably unreceptive to the good news coming out of the US of late, be it Trump's tax reform triumph or the week's decent data."
Global markets had already powered ahead in 2017 as economies showed long-running improvements after years of faltering.
And in New York on Thursday, the Dow finished above 25,000 points for the first time, leading records across Wall Street and sparking fresh praise from US President Donald Trump.
In Asia on Friday, Tokyo stocks ended up 0.9 percent at a 26-year high following its more than three percent jump Thursday, while Sydney added 0.7 percent.
Seoul rose 1.3 percent, with dealers buoyed by news that North Korea had accepted the South's offer of talks next week, further easing geopolitical tensions in the region.
Hong Kong gained 0.3 percent to chalk up a ninth-straight gain.
- 'Economic strength' -
A forecast-smashing reading Thursday on private take-ups further boosted economic optimism, which has already been bolstered in recent weeks by US tax cuts, healthy corporate profits and strong manufacturing figures worldwide.
Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said in a note that data from the manufacturing and services sectors "suggests economic strength across the globe remains robust".
He noted that an index of world factory activity was at its highest level in seven years.
While oil prices inched down, they remain elevated after recent rises to around three-year highs thanks to Middle East tensions,.
Crude futures have also been boosted this week on keen US demand as the nation's stockpiles fall on the back of a severe cold snap.
- Key figures around 1145 GMT -
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,721.50 points
Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.1 percent at 13,314.10
Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.9 percent at 5,461.04
EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.8 percent at 3,598.91
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.9 percent at 23,714.53 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.3 percent at 30,814.64 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,391.75 (close)
New York - DOW: UP 0.6 percent at 25,075.13 (close)
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.2044 from $1.2068 late on Thursday
Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3529 from $1.3552
Dollar/yen: UP at 113.23 yen from 112.72 yen
Oil - Brent North Sea: DOWN 56 cents at $67.51 per barrel
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 57 cents at $61.44
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