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Market Update

DAX Leads European Shares Up; Data in Focus

European stocks moved higher Friday, led by Germany's blue-chip DAX index after data showed Ifo business climate in the region's largest economy rose more than expected last month.

The FTSE 100 edged up 0.1% at 9:00 a.m. London time, the CAC 40 Paris added 0.3% while the DAX Frankfurt rallied 1.1%.

A report released by the Ifo Institute for Economic Research showed German business climate index rose to 104.2 from 102.4 in the previous month. Analysts were expecting a rise of 103.0 last month.

Markets were also awaiting the release of preliminary fourth quarter U.K. GDP data.

Meanwhile, upbeat economic reports in the U.S. the prior day also supported sentiment. The U.S. Department of Labour on Thursday said initial jobless claims for the week ended January 19 fell by 5.000 to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, the lowest since January 2008.

Stocks on the move

Banking stocks were in the lead -- French lenders Credit Agricole SA bounced nearly 3% while Societe Generale SA enhanced 1.7%. BNP Paribas SA gained over 1% too.

In Germany, Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG enhanced 1% each.

But SolarWorld AG tumbled more than 25% after the country's largest solar-panel manufacturer  said it would make adjustments to its debt structure.

Others in the region were also lower -- Centrosolar Group AG slipped around 3% while SMA Solar Technology AG eased 0.5%.

Among London-listed banks, Barclays Plc. edged up 0.2% while Standard Chartered Bank also added around 0.2%.

Miners were trading mixed on the resource-heavy benchmark FTSE 100 index. BHP Billiton Plc. fell 1.4% while Xstara Plc. inched up 0.5%. Oil giant BP Plc. slipped 0.8%.