In London the UK’s FTSE 100 added just four points to settle at 6393, whilst the German DAX shed 21 points (-0.3%) to close at 7911.
U.S. stocks rose, paring the second weekly drop of the year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as key companies beat earnings estimates and optimism grew that Cyprus will pass a plan to qualify for a bailout. The Dow Jones added 91 points (+0.6%) to settle at 14512, whilst the S&P 500 gained 11 points (+0.7%) to settle at 1557.
Lawmakers in Cyprus began debating legislation to help unlock bailout funds needed to avoid a financial collapse. Government spokesman Christos Stylianides said talks with the ECB, the European Commission and the IMF were in the final stages.
The ECB has said it will cut emergency funds for Cypriot banks after March 25 unless it comes to an agreement with the so-called troika of the European Commission, the ECB and the IMF.
Euro-area finance ministers expect a proposal from Cyprus “as rapidly as possible” to raise the 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion) needed to trigger the emergency loans, they said in a statement late Friday night.
Gold futures fell as lawmakers in Cyprus debated measures needed for a bailout, crimping demand for the precious metal as a store of value. Silver dropped the most in three weeks.
On the Comex in New York, gold futures for April delivery dropped 0.5% to settle at $1,606.10 an ounce. Oil for May delivery gained $1.26 (+1.4%) to settle at $93.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Crude was up 0.3% on the week.
The euro strengthened to $1.30 for the first time in a week on optimism Cyprus is moving closer to a deal to stave off financial collapse and prevent contagion from infecting the rest of the region. There is no major local ecnomic data due out today.