European Stocks mark Best Week since January

European stocks closed Friday at a record high, aided as the euro moved lower, leaving the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 with its strongest week in more than two months.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.92% climbed 0.9% to 412.93, as all sectors gained ground. Friday’s win was the sixth in a row for the index. On Thursday, its jump of 1.1% left it with its best closing level since March 2000.

Analysts have said capital resulting from the European Central Bank’s debt-purchase program has made its way into equities, pulling them to lofty levels.

The Stoxx 600 also ended the holiday-shortened week higher by 3.8%, its heftiest weekly gain since late January, according to FactSet.

Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, +1.71% bounced to a new record closing high, rising 1.7% to 12,374.73. Shares in the key exporter’s companies have benefited from a pullback in the euro against the dollar. A weaker euro can make products less expensive for overseas buyers.

The euro EURUSD, -0.53% was trading at $1.0601, and slipped below $1.06 during the session. The euro was at $1.0660 late Thursday. The shared currency hit a three-week low against the greenback Thursday after a strong U.S. labor-market update.

In London, the U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +1.06% notched a new record high, rising 1.1% to 7,089.77. Shire PLC SHP, +4.80% topped the index with a 4.8% climb, spurred after the pharmaceutical company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will consider its application for its Lifitegrast dry-eye disease treatment under a priority review.

In Paris, the CAC 40 PX1, +0.60% ended up 0.6% at 5,240.46.

This week, European M&A activity was in the spotlight, as Dutch parcel-delivery company TNT Express NV TNTE, -0.35% agreed to be bought by FedEx Corp. FDX, +0.84% for about €4.4 billion ($4.8 billion). Also, oil heavyweight Royal Dutch Shell PLC RDS.B, +0.35% RDS.A, +0.56% reached a deal to take over BG Group PLC BG., +0.69% for £47 billion ($68.77 billion).

Source: MarketWatch