Sterling made gains after inflation turned positive in November, with the Consumer Price Index for Britain recording a growth of 0.1% y\y, after two consecutive months of negative inflation. Core CPI, which strips out volatile energy and food prices, rose 1.2% y\y, in line with expectations and better than October's rise of 1.1%. Sterling inched up 0.14% against the dollar to 1.5164. It wiped its losses against the euro, moving away from near a 7-week low and gaining 0.37% to 0.7233. Sterling advanced 0.31% against the yen to 183.83.
Oil prices held on to its earlier gains, sneaking further away from 7-year lows touched yesterday; Brent crude futures are up 57 cents, or 1.51% to $38.74 a barrel. U.S. crude futures added 40 cents, or 1.08% to $36.70 per barrel.
The recovery in oil prices helped European shares rally after a bruising week of deep losses, with the pan-European index FTSEurofirst jumping 2.33% to 1,403. Germany's DAX soared 284 points, or 2.81% to 10,424. France's CAC 40 added 118 points, or 2.66% to 4,592. Britain's FTSE continued to benefit from South Africa-related stocks, which recovered greatly after president Zuma named widely respected Pravin Gorghan as finance minister; the British index rose 107 points, or 1.83% to 5,981.
Euro ceded earlier gains against the dollar, losing 0.20% to 1.0972, after hitting a fresh six-week high earlier in the day at 1.1056. Euro inched down against the yen to 133.02.
Canadian dollar pulled away from an 11-1\2 year trough thanks to stabilization in oil; it last traded at C$1.3716, up 0.11% for the day. Swedish crown jumped to a six-week high against the dollar after Sweden's central bank refrained from cutting interest rates, but then trimmed most of its gain, trading at 8.4727 per dollar, with a 0.1% gain.