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Europe stock markets extend rise as Ukraine tensions ease

LONDON/HONG KONG -- European stock markets rose solidly on Friday, building on gains from the previous day as tensions appeared to ease over the Russia-Ukraine crisis, while the euro advanced versus the dollar.

London's benchmark FTSE 100 index climbed 0.70 percent to stand at 6,732.35 points in late morning deals.

Frankfurt's DAX 30 index climbed 0.71 percent to 9,290.97 points and in Paris the CAC-40 advanced by 0.71 percent to stand at 4,235.20 compared with Thursday's close.

Indices were rising after Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow should not “fence itself off from the outside world” despite a plunge in East-West relations over the pro-Kremlin insurgency in Ukraine.

“The market seems to have come to terms with geopolitics almost being the 'new normal,' although comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin have given some confidence for traders,” noted Chris Weston, market strategist at IG trading group.

Britain's economy expanded by 0.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014 compared with output in the first three months of the year, official data showed on Friday.

Gross domestic product had also expanded by 0.8 percent during the first quarter of the year, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement, confirming initial estimates provided last month.

GDP grew by 3.2 percent in the April-June period compared with the second quarter of 2013, slightly up on the initial estimate of 3.1 percent.

At 0.8 percent quarter-on-quarter, Britain's economy overtook the size it achieved before the global financial crisis of 2008.

While Britain's economy shows signs of solid recovery, growth in the 18-country eurozone ground to a halt in the second quarter, official data showed on Thursday, dragged down by France and Germany and casting a cloud over the crisis-hit region.

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