The successful rollout of vaccines in the United States has lifted hopes the world's top economy can begin to reopen and get back on track

London (AFP) - European equities rallied Tuesday as investors came back from an extended weekend and welcomed news that the US economy was well on the way to recovery.

Stock market indices in Frankfurt, London and Paris rose as dealers returned from a four-day Easter weekend, and after a mixed performance in Asia.

“Today is the first chance for European markets to react to this fresh wave of optimism after an extended weekend, and indeed to the possibility that global economies will be lifted by a recovery which is expected to be led by the US in the first instance,” said Interactive Investor analyst Richard Hunter.

Wall Street had nailed record gains on Monday after pre-weekend data showed far more US jobs than expected were created last month, reinforcing the view of a strong recovery.

But as trading got underway in New York on Tuesday, the Dow Jones and Nasdaq Composite indices both slipped lower.

Back in Europe however, markets “had a proverbial spring in their step as they returned from the Easter break,” said Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

The International Monetary Fund forecast meanwhile that the 19-nation eurozone economy would grow by 4.4 percent this year, slightly stronger than previously expected.

The IMF also anticipates growth in the US to reach 6.4 percent.

Elsewhere, investors have taken heart from progress made in vaccinating people in the United States and Britain, which should allow governments there to ease containment measures.

Earlier in the day, stock markets had gained ground in Sydney, Seoul, Mumbai, Jakarta, Taipei and Manila.

On the downside, Tokyo fell by more than one percent on profit-taking after recent gains.

Oil prices rallied as analysts considered that the chances of a breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks were slim.

Both contracts tumbled last week on the prospects that the country’s crude could return to markets if negotiations on the accord progressed smoothly and sanctions on the country were eased.

- Key figures around 1330 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.3 percent at 6,822.04 points

Paris - CAC 40: UP 0.5 percent at 6,133.25

Frankfurt - DAX 30: UP 1.0 percent at 15,254.52

EURO STOXX 50: UP 0.7 percent at 3,975.30

New York - Dow: DOWN less than 0.1 percent at 33,500.02

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.8 percent at 29,696.63 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: FLAT at 3,482.97 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1832 from $1.1813 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3840 from $1.3900

Euro/pound: UP at 85.49 pence from 84.99 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 109.78 yen from 110.18 yen

Brent North Sea crude: UP 1.6 percent at $63.17 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 1.8 percent at $59.69