Stock market rises continue

Share prices in Stockholm rose sharply in early trading on Friday, following the market's closure for the Ascension Day public holiday on Thursday.

At 10 am the OMXS index was up 2.6 percent on Wednesday’s closing level, reaching 308.8. Shares in the energy sector were by far the market’s best performers.

Steel company SSAB saw its shares rise 3.3 percent during the morning, following the news that European steelmaker Arcelor is to merge with Russian Severstal, becoming the world’s largest steel producer. The merged company will be the largest steel producer in the world. The companies have a joint turnover of 46 billion euros (nearly 430 billion kronor), and produces 70 million tonnes of steel annually.

Europe’s major stock markets also rose during the morning, but the rises were smaller than that in Stockholm. The FTSE-100 index in London and the CAC-40 index in Paris both rose by around 1 percent in early trading. The Nikkei index in Tokyo was 1.8 percent up at close. The Dow Jones in New York also rose on Thursday, closing 0.8 percent up at 11,210.9 while the Nasdaq composite index was up 1.3 percent to 2198.2.

The rises in the US were partly due to a report from the Department of Trade showing GDP growth of 5.3 percent for the first quarter. Analysts had expected more, meaning that concern that interest rates would rise was dampened.