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Global stocks rally at end of volatile week

John BIERS
While Donald Trump claims he is the victim of a witch hunt, equity traders are concerned the crisis engulfing his presidency could throw his economy-boosting agenda off track

Global stock markets rebounded Friday, recovering some of the heavy losses sustained earlier this week on worries about President Donald Trump's growth agenda in the wake of burgeoning investigations of the White House.

US and European stocks finished solidly higher, while bourses in Hong Kong and Japan mustered modest gains.

The rally suggested investors were eager to jump in and take advantage of depressed prices.

Wall Street stocks spent the entire session in the green, boosted in part by higher oil prices that lifted energy shares.

Analysts also cited a relatively placid day news flow for much of Friday after a number of shocking stories involving Trump in the last week over the firing of FBI director James Comey and allegations the president disclosed highly sensitive intelligence to Russian officials.

US stocks stayed pulled back a bit, but stayed in positive territory, after a pair of Friday afternoon stories on Trump.

The Washington Post reported that the FBI is investigating a "significant person of interest" in the White House, bringing the probe closer to Trump himself.

At around the same time, The New York Times reported that Trump told Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a meeting the day after sacking Comey that firing the FBI chief relieved "great pressure" on him caused by the Russia investigation.

The S&P 500 finished up 0.7 percent at 2,381.73.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index closed 0.5 percent higher. In the eurozone, Frankfurt's DAX 30 won 0.4 percent and the Paris CAC 40 gained 0.7 percent.

Oil prices rose ahead of next week's OPEC meeting, lifting US prices back above the psychologically important $50 a barrel level.

The dollar was back in negative territory against the euro and other major currencies.

Kathy Lien, managing director at BK Asset Management, attributed the greenback's retreat to uncertainty about Trump.

"The investigation into the ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian influence sparked talk of impeachment," Lien said.

"While this may be wishful thinking for some, the real implication will be on the President's ability to push through his pro-growth policies and that's where the political trade becomes an economic one."

- Key figures around 2100 GMT -

New York - Dow: UP 0.7 percent at 20,804.84 (close)

New York - S&P 500: UP 0.7 percent at 2,381.73 (close)

New York - Nasdaq: UP 0.5 percent at 6,083.70 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,470.71 (close)

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 0.4 percent at 12,638.69 (close)

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.7 percent at 5,324.40 (close)

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.7 percent at 3,586.00

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.2 percent at 19,590.76 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 0.2 percent at 25,174.87 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,090.63 (close)

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1207 from $1.1161

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 111.27 yen from 111.44

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3038 from $1.3009

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP $1.10 at $53.61 per barrel

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 98 cents at $50.33 per barrel

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