Larry Summers Quits Race To Become Fed Chair
European stock markets hit a five-year high after Larry Summers, the frontrunner to become the next chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve pulled out of the running for top post.
Mr Summers who is a former policy advisor to President Barack Obama was considered the favourite to succeed the current chairman Ben Bernanke as the head of the U.S. central bank but he informed the President of his decision on Sunday to no longer run for the post.
Mr Summers has been unenthusiastic about the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus programme, known as quantitative easing, and therefore was expected to scrap the policy if appointed.
His decision leaves Janet Yellen as many people's favourite to become Ben Bernanke's replacement when his term ends in January 2014. Dr Yellen is currently vice-chair of the Fed's board and her monetary policy stance has been far more dovish than Mr Summers'.
If Dr Yellen were successful, she would be the first female to lead the U.S. central bank in its 100-year history.
Another high-profile candidate is Donald Kohn who has 40 years of experience of the Federal system and was vice-chair of the Board for four years.
Also tipped for the top job is the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner . However, Mr Geithner has shown reluctance in the past saying the position will be "someone else's privilege".
European stocks hit five-year highs after the news. In London, the FTSE 100 closed up 39.06 points, or 0.59% at 6622.