European stocks hold gains on World Bank forecast; Dax jumps 1.24%

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Investing.com - European stocks remained higher on Wednesday, after the World Bank raised its global growth forecast and as Tuesday's upbeat U.S. and euro zone data broadly continued to support equity markets.

During European afternoon trade, the EURO STOXX 50 advanced 0.76%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.64%, while Germany's DAX 30 jumped 1.24%.

Equities strengthened after the World Bank increased its global growth forecasts, predicting the world economy will expand 3.2% this year, compared to a previous projection of 3% and up from 2.4% in 2013.

Equity markets were also boosted on Tuesday after the Commerce Department that U.S. retail sales rose 0.2% in December, while core retail sales, which excludes auto sales, rose 0.7%.

Financial stocks were broadly lower, as French lenders BNP Paribas and Societe Generale rallied 1.91% and 2.76%, while Germany's Deutsche Bank climbed 1.56%.

Among peripheral lenders, Spanish bank BBVA jumped 1.80%, while Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo and Unicredit advanced 1.64% and 1.88% respectively.

Elsewhere, Hennes & Mauritz surged 2.15% after the clothing retailer posted a 10% increase in total sales in December, exceeding the 9.1% rise expected by analysts.

In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.37%, led by a 6.36% jump in Burberry shares after the U.K. luxury-goods maker posted quarterly revenue that topped analysts' estimates.

Financial stocks were also on the upside, as HSBC Holdings climbed 0.42% and Barclays advanced 1.17%, while Lloyds Banking and the Royal Bank of Scotland rallied 1.33% and 1.87% respectively.

In the mining sector, stocks were mixed. Vedanta Resources dropped 0.48% and Fresnillo plummeted 3.05%, while Glencore Xstrata gained 0.54% and Rio Tinto advanced 0.98%.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.21% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.17% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.35% increase.

Also Wednesday, data showed that German gross domestic product grew by 0.4% in 2013, following growth of 0.7% in 2012. Analysts had been expecting growth of 0.5%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was torelease data on producer price inflation and a report on manufacturing activity in the New York region.

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