U.S. Markets closed

German business morale surges to highest level in 1-1/2 years

A general view shows Vattenfall's combined heat and power station Reuter West in Berlin, November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch

BERLIN (Reuters) - German business morale rose far more than forecast in November, reaching its highest level since April 2012, in a sign that Europe's largest economy is steadily recovering after a weak start to the year.

The Munich-based Ifo think tank said on Friday its business climate index, based on a monthly survey of some 7,000 firms, rose to 109.3, beating the consensus forecast for a rise to 107.7 and surpassing even the highest estimate for a reading of 108.5. The November figure compared with a reading of 107.4 in October.

The euro rose and German Bund futures extended losses after the index was published.

(Reporting by Michelle Martin; Editing by Noah Barkin)