By Peter Nurse Investing.com – European stock markets rose on Friday, helped by strong earnings from companies like BNP Paribas (PA :), as well as optimism that the worst of the pandemic is over, and Mario Draghi hopes can stabilize the ship in Italy, the third largest economy in the EU. At 3:35 AM ET (0835 GMT), the in Germany was up 0.1%, the in France was up 0.8% and the UK index was up 0.1%. He was also up 0.7% as Italy’s 10-year yield spread over Germany fell below 100 basis points. The euro zone has been hit hard by the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the region’s GDP fell 0.7% in the final quarter of 2020 as governments introduced new restrictions and closures to try to stem the growth. virus. More evidence of this slowdown emerged on Friday, as German fell 1.9% in December, a sharp drop from the revised 2.7% rise the previous month. Growth in the first quarter of the new year is also likely to be negative, but there is hope for the future. The Bank of England, for example, while holding it unchanged on Thursday, said the UK economy is heading for a rapid rebound thanks to a bold vaccination effort. Government projections put the country on track to vaccinate all adults by June. “With Covid-19 cases now declining in certain regions, including the US and the UK, there will be a glimmer of hope that the worst is over, particularly as vaccine rollout recovers.” ING analysts said. in a research note. Also helping tone Friday is the release of stronger earnings data. BNP Paribas (OTC 🙂 shares rose 0.8% after the French bank provided upbeat guidance for 2021, helped by strong trading figures in the fourth quarter of last year. It also announced a dividend payment in May. Shares of Sanofi (NASDAQ 🙂 rose 2.9% after the French pharmaceutical company said it was aiming to increase earnings per share this year after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. Shares in Carlsberg (OTC 🙂 rose 3.1% after the Danish brewer beat expectations for full-year net earnings, helped by a strong rally in China, and proposed further share buybacks. Away from Europe, the focus will turn to the official United States later in Friday’s session, and job growth is expected to have picked up in January when authorities begin to ease restrictions on businesses. Oil prices firmed up on Friday, reaching their highest levels in a year as world stocks continue to decline amid production discipline by major producers. Futures traded 0.7% higher at $ 56.67 a barrel, after hitting a high of $ 56.84, the highest since January 22 of last year, and are on track for a weekly gain of almost 9%, which would be its biggest weekly gain since October. The international benchmark contract rose 0.6% to $ 59.34, after reaching a high of $ 59.41, its highest level since February 20 of last year, and on track to rise 6% this week. . Elsewhere, it was up 1.1% to $ 1,809.10 / oz, while it traded 0.2% higher at 1.1981.