European stocks rose after a deal was struck to form a new
German government, more talk emerged of European Central Bank help
for struggling firms and German confidence rose.
Investors cheered a coalition agreement between German
Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the center-left Social
Democrats that included an agreement to raise the minimum wage and
increase pensions, which should help boost activity in Europe's
Separately, German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported that
the ECB was considering a new long-term liquidity operation that
would be available only to banks that agree to use the funding to
lend to businesses.
A survey showing German consumer sentiment at a six-year high
added to the positive tone.
In other news, UK exports fell 2.4% in Q3, the Office for
National Statistics said. That is the steepest fall in more than
two years, and combined with a rise in imports, sapped 0.9
percentage point from the economy's growth rate.
French consumer confidence fell to 84 in November from 85 in
October. That reading is well below the long-term average of
The UK economy grew 0.8% during the period, confirming earlier
Mild support also came from a surprise drop in US weekly jobless
claims and a gain in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan
final index of consumer sentiment for November.
A looming US holiday on Thursday, though, kept a cap on gains.
US markets will close Thursday and partially on Friday for the
In ADR news, French state-controlled power company Electricite
de France Tuesday sold its entire 4.01% stake in utility Veolia
Environnement SA (
) for 262 million euros ($356 million). EDF sold the stake at
EUR11.90 per share, or 2.3% below the Tuesday closing price, the
company said Wednesday. EDF had announced the sale on Tuesday.
The FTSE-100 was up 0.2% at 6,649.47, the DAX up 0.66% at
9,351.13 and the CAC-40 up 0.36% at 4,293.06.
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