As if taking a deep breath after a defining week for

markets, the FashionUnited Top 100 Index closed up Thursday for first time since last week, ending up at 1,265.2. European companies listed within the benchmark index helped the fashion market to ease their concerns about the outcomes of the ECB announcement.

After major central banks announced a coordinated plan to provide dollar loans to banks within the Eurozone, European stock markets finished sharply higher Thursday, with financial shares happily soaring.

The announcement that the ECB and other central banks were collaborating to provide European banks with a three-month dollar-swap facility fueled sentiment positive for a change.As gathered by the Financial Times, analysts agreed that this change will be helpful in particular easing the severe strains put on French banks’ substantial asset exposure in US dollars; but it will not fix anything more profoundly.

Following the cheerful mode across Europe, H&M on Thursday beat expectations with a rise in sales for August and the third quarter. The second world largest apparel retailer released its total August turnover, which includes stores opened in the past year, and was up 8 percent in local currencies, beating expectations for a 2.3 percent increase. H&M shares, which have dropped 14 percent since the beginning of August, rose 6.1 percent.

But sadly, bad news stole the show as Hong Kong-based Esprit said it will divest itself of its North America business and exit retail operations in three major European countries after reporting that its full-year profit plunged 98%, a far cry from its 1980s heyday as a teen trend-setter. Their net profit for the full year that ended June 30 fell to 79 million Hong Kong dollars (US$10.1 million) from HK$4.23 billion a year earlier, well below the HK$3.16 billion analysts expected. Revenue barely changed, totaling HK$33.77 billion compared with HK$33.73 billion a year earlier.




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