Stocks jolted upwards by German data

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By SAPA

All three major US stock indices rose Friday as business confidence picked up in Germany and the holiday shopping season got under way in the US.

Germany's Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, climbed to 101.4 from 100 in October, the first gain in eight months. Economists predicted a drop to 99.5, according to the median of 48 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey.

Brisk sales reported at major retailers across the US on Black Friday, the day that traditionally kicks off Christmas holiday shopping season, also appeared to please investors, who pushed the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its biggest weekly rally since June, Bloomberg reported.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average added 172.79 points, or 1.35 per cent, to 13,009.68. The broader Standard & Poor's 500

Index rose 18.12 points or 1.30 per cent to 1,409.15. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 40.30 points, or 1.38 per cent, to 2,966.85.

The US currency was down at 77.08 euro cents from 77.77 euro cents on Wednesday. The dollar declined against the Japanese currency to 82.39 yet from 82.53. US markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. -Sapa-dpa

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