Stock markets rebounded in Europe on Friday but some stumbled in Asia, capping a volatile week as investors' concerns grow about the health of the global economy.
At around 1330 GMT, London's benchmark FTSE 100 index was up 0.9 percent compared with Thursday's close, aided by rising oil prices.
"There was a continued chirpiness to the global markets..., the FTSE even managing to hold onto its growth despite a woeful morning for UK data," said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell, citing poor official manufacturing and trade figures.
In the eurozone, both Frankfurt's DAX 30 and the Paris CAC 40 rose by more than one percent in afternoon deals.
"The main catalyst for this growth seems to have been the strong German trade surplus figures," added Campbell, noting that dealers had "quickly forgotten" disappointing French industrial output data.
Rising oil prices also boosted Wall Street stocks which opened higher on Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.5 percent to stand at 17,633.94 points five minutes into trade.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent) and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.6 percent.
In Asia, Hong Kong ended on a high in late buying while Tokyo also recovered from a morning sell-off to close the day in positive territory thanks to the yen weakening against the dollar, giving some respite to Japanese exporters.
Dealers have taken their foot off the pedal after a March advance, with analysts saying there is a sense that central banks from Asia to the Americas are running out of options to kickstart world growth.
Last month saw the European Central Bank push interest rates deeper into negative territory in a bid to ramp up lending, a policy adopted by the Bank of Japan in January. Also, the US Federal Reserve has lowered its forecasts for raising borrowing costs this year and said it did not expect to make any move until after June.
Despite the moves to loosen monetary policy, growth remains stubbornly low and experts said the banks' magic could be wearing off.
"We're definitely moving to a risk-off scenario and there's been a strong flight to safety," Niv Dagan, executive director at Peak Asset Management LLC in Melbourne, told Bloomberg News.
"Investors are cautious and are extremely nervous that global central bank intervention won't actually stimulate growth in the economy."
The glum outlook weighed on buying sentiment elsewhere in Asia.
Shanghai slid 0.8 percent and Sydney shed 0.6 percent, while Seoul, Singapore and Wellington were also sharply lower.
- Yen in retreat -
However, Hong Kong ended up 0.5 percent and Japan's Nikkei -- which on Thursday rose for the first time after seven straight losses -- also ended a seesaw day 0.5 percent higher.
Despite the recovery in the broader Nikkei index, market heavyweight Fast Retailing, operator of the Uniqlo clothing chain, dived almost 13 percent after forecasting a big fall in profit this fiscal year.
Oil prices climbed as traders look ahead to next weekend's meeting of major producers, with hopes a deal to freeze output can be reached. A surprise fall in US stockpiles also provided some much-needed relief.
West Texas Intermediate was up 3.6 percent at $38.60 per barrel and Brent gained 3.2 percent to $40.68.
Source: India Time