LONDON: Asian and European stock markets advanced Friday with global investor sentiment boosted by a historic meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea.
However Wall Street wobbled as data showed that US economic growth slowed at the beginning of the year, although the annualised rate of 2.3 percent growth rate was better than many economists had feared, reports AFP."European equity markets are higher ... after a strong finish in Asia," noted CMC Markets analyst David Madden.
"The historic meeting of the leaders of North and South Korea has given a boost to the geopolitical mood -- which was been tepid recently."
In Asia, Seoul's Kospi shares index was among the best performers and the won strengthened as the leaders of North and South Korea held talks.
Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in have agreed to pursue a permanent peace and the complete denuclearisation of the divided peninsula, as they embraced after a historic summit laden with symbolism.
In a day of bonhomie including a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides the two countries, the pair issued a declaration on "the common goal of realising, through complete denuclearisation, a nuclear-free Korean peninsula".
Upon signing the document, the two leaders shared a warm embrace, the culmination of a summit filled with smiles and displays of friendship in front of the world's media.They also agreed that they would this year seek a permanent end to the Korean War, 65 years after the hostilities ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty.
It was the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy, and intended to pave the way for a much-anticipated encounter between Kim and US President Donald Trump.
"De-escalation in the geopolitics continues," noted ThinkMarkets analyst Naeem Aslam.
"North Korea has dramatically softened his stance towards his nuclear arms race and it is something purely because of the Trump tactics."
The pound meanwhile plunged Friday as news of Britain's sharp economic slowdown extinguished hopes of an interest rate hike next month.