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Global stock market indexes rose substantially in early trading on Thursday after an upbeat report on U.S. jobless claims and further monetary action from the Bank of England.

U.S. stock index futures were higher with about 30 minutes before markets open, suggesting that stocks will rise at the start of trading. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average were up 52 points. Futures for the broader S&P 500 were up 5 points.

The U.S. Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims last week fell by 38,000, to 550,000. That marks the fifth consecutive week that claims have been under the previously stubborn level of 600,000. The claims were also below the 580,000 level that economists had been expecting.

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"There are still behind-the-scenes dynamics that are skewing the interpretation of the data, but a top line analysis does suggest that job destruction moderated somewhat," said Ian Pollick, economics strategist at TD Securities, in a note."We won't mince our words though, the state of the U.S. labor market remains deeply fractured."

Meanwhile, some of the more troubled financial firms continue to score remarkable gains after posting double-digit increases in Wednesday's trading. In premarket activity, American International Group Inc. rose 16.8 per cent, Freddie Mac rose 20 per cent, AMBAC Financial Group Inc. rose 19.7 per cent and MBIA Inc. rose 22.1 per cent.

In Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 was up 1.8 per cent and Germany's DAX index was up 1.3 per cent in afternoon trading. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 per cent in overnight trading.

The Bank of England maintained its current key interest rate said it would increase its purchase of government bonds in an effort to keep borrowing costs down.

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About the Author
Investing Reporter

David Berman has been writing about business and investing since 1995. He has written for a number of magazines, including Canadian Business and MoneySense. He worked at the Financial Post as an investing writer and daily columnist before moving to the Globe and Mail in 2008. More

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