Euro-zone hopes boost U.S. bank stocks
BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- Financial stocks gained ground Friday on reports that the world's leading central banks were prepared to step in to shore up the global markets if this weekend's parliamentary elections in Greece lead to further economic chaos in the euro zone.
In a statement issued Friday, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said that the "Eurosystem will continue to supply liquidity to solvent banks where needed." Read more about ECB's statement.
Draghi's remarks came ahead of a Group of 20 summit that will discuss the state of the global economy. The meeting is set to begin on Monday in Los Cabos, Mexico. Read more about G-20 summit.
Also fanning investor optimism were reports that international regulators were moving to ease new restrictions on bank liquidity over concerns that they could worsen the financial crisis in Europe. Read more on banking restrictions.
The four financial-stock components of the Dow all advanced.
The firm recently lost a bidding war for the London Metals Exchange. Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd., operator of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong, said Friday it has been approved as the preferred bidder for the London Metal Exchange, a $2.2 billion tie up that expands its reach and better positions the combined entity to tap China's growing appetite for commodities.
Earlier Friday, Dow Jones Newswires reported that Citigroup bought $1.4 billion worth of collateralized debt obligations from the New York Federal Reserve's portfolio.
The New York Fed on Thursday announced that it has been repaid for $53.1 billion in loans -- called the Maiden Lane and Maiden Lane III -- used to bail out