Volatility reigns on Europe's markets

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Volatility reigns on Europe's markets

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Jittery investors continue to react to every bit of good and bad news and Europe’s share markets repeatedly swooped up and down on Thursday before ending the trading session well into positive territory.

Fears over the health of the region’s banks were the main negative influence.

Stocks were boosted by better-than-expected

US weekly jobs figures and news of a euro zone governance meeting next week between French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany’s Angela Merkel.

Investors are looking to the politicians to do more. Howard Wheeldon, of brokerage BGC Partners, said: “There just is no good news around at all. And basically this is when you add up the problems in the US and you add up the problems in Europe and even here looking in the UK. It is actually a political problem we have got to solve first. Once we have done that I think the rest will follow and drop into place very nicely.”

Gold’s rally started to run out of steam on Thursday. It has been the big financial winner recently because of its safe haven state but slid from record highs as investors cashed in some of the previous session’s near three percent gains

Despite the correction, gold remains on track for its biggest one-week gain since September 2008.

“The acceleration in the gains in the gold price underscores just how nervous the financial markets are of the recent run of events both and more recently with regards to stability in Spain, Italy and now France,” said Ross Norman, chief executive of bullion brokers Sharps Pixley.