Asian and European stock markets mostly rose Friday, extending a global rally, as traders welcomed a multi-billion-dollar show of support for troubled banks aimed at soothing concerns about contagion in the sector.
A rollercoaster week was on course to end on a positive note after several Wall Street titans including JP Morgan, Bank of America and Citigroup on Thursday stumped up $30 billion to deposit into troubled US lender First Republic.
The move came as investors feared First Republic could suffer a run of withdrawals by customers worried it would follow US lenders Silicon Valley bank and Signature Bank, which went under last week and fuelled fears of another financial crisis.
"The actions of America's largest banks reflect their confidence in the country's banking system," the group of 11 financial institutions said of a plan coordinated by US regulators.
Earlier Thursday, European giant Credit Suisse said it would borrow nearly $54 billion made available by the Swiss central bank to "support" the group.
Markets welcomed the measures, helping the Dow and S&P 500 rally more than one percent and the Nasdaq more than two percent Thursday.
Improved sentiment filtered through Friday to Asian and European equities following big losses earlier in the week, notably for shares in major banks.
The dollar was down against main rivals, while oil prices showed signs of recovery after hefty losses this week.
"Worries over the banking sector are easing after the big banks offer support to First Republic" and as the Swiss central bank "gave Credit Suisse a lifeline," said Edward Moya, analyst at Oanda trading group.
"Banking jitters are fading quickly for now and that has everyone scrambling back into risky assets."
- 'Extremely solid' banks -
The French central bank chief on Friday insisted that European banks are "extremely solid".
"European banks are not in the same situation as certain American banks for a very simple reason which is that they are not subjected to the same rules," Francois Villeroy de Galhau, who is also a member of the European Central Bank's governing council, told BFM Business television.
Rules known as Basel III that were created after the 2008 financial crisis to ensure that banks have adequate capital and liquidity have been "effective", Villeroy de Galhau said.
He noted that 400 European banking groups are subject to the Basel III requirements compared to only 13 in the United States.
- Fed's next move -
Commentators said the calmer waters in the banking sector would allow investors to refocus on the long-running subject of inflation and interest rate hikes.
Before the SVB crisis unfolded, there had been a widespread expectation the US Federal Reserve would ramp up its tightening campaign next week and push on for as long as needed until it had quelled inflation.
But with SVB's demise largely blamed on the sharp rise in borrowing costs -- fuelling fears of a repeat at other banks -- speculation has swirled that the Fed would stop hiking and maybe even cut rates to provide some stability.
The European Central Bank on Thursday lifted rates by 50 basis points, as it had been tipped to do before last weekend.
- Key figures around 1030 GMT -
- London - FTSE 100: UP 0.5 percent at 7,444.66 points
- Frankfurt - DAX: UP 0.4 percent at 15,019.07
- Paris - CAC 40: FLAT at 7,026.28
- EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.3 percent at 4,130.32
- Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.2 percent at 27,333.79 (close)
- Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 1.6 percent at 19,518.59 (close)
- Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.7 percent at 3,250.55 (close)
- New York - Dow: UP 1.2 percent at 32,246.55 (close)
- Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0634 from $1.0617 on Thursday
- Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2133 from $1.2106
- Euro/pound: UP at 87.63 pence from 87.62 pence
- Dollar/yen: DOWN at 133.13 yen from 133.69 yen
- Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.1 percent at $75.55 per barrel
- West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.4 percent at $69.32 per barrel