LONDON, Jan 25 (Reuters) - European shares scaled fresh
multi-month peaks on Friday, with forecast-beating German data
and bigger-than-expected paybacks of crisis-time loans by banks
fuelling the conviction that the region is firmly on the
Frankfurt's DAX index led the rally, scaling
five-year highs and closing 1.3 percent higher after the
closely-watched Ifo January business morale index beat consensus
to match the most optimistic economist's forecast.
Confidence in the euro zone recovery was further bolstered
by news that banks will replay 137 billion euros ($183
billion)of European Central Bank crisis loans already next week,
around a third more than expected.
The EuroSTOXX 50 index of euro zone blue chips
provisionally closed up 0.6 percent at 2,739.57 after setting a
fresh 18-month intra-day peak of 2,748.13.
"People are choosing to pounce on any bit of good news. For
the moment the trend is very much to the upside," said Stephen
Walker, head of equities research and market strategy at
"From a really deep fundamental standpoint I probably still
have some pretty major concerns but at the moment the market is
not in the mood to worry about that. It's a sentiment thing -
people have gone from being extremely pessimistic to being far
more optimistic. At the moment any news is good news."