Global optimism lifted equity markets Thursday, fuelled by oil breaking through $50 for the first time this year, but Wall Street drifted lower on profit-taking. Higher oil prices boosted the profits, revenues and share prices of energy companies and Asian stock markets were first to feel the benefit, with energy stocks in Europe and the US also attracting strong buying interest. In Europe, Frankfurt, London and Paris extended Wednesday's gains that were won on the back of a financing deal for Greece, bright German data, easing Brexit concerns and firmer oil prices.
At least two people were reported killed Thursday as rallies across DR Congo against President Joseph Kabila turned violent, with police firing tear gas in the capital Kinshasa and the eastern city of Goma. Large numbers of riot police were deployed across the country for the rallies called by three opposition groups in defiance of government bans. Tensions have been soaring in the country where Kabila, in power since his father's assassination in 2001, is widely thought to be preparing to remain in office beyond the two terms allowed under the constitution.