Hold: European Stocks Rise on German Coalition Agreement, Data
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 largest economy.
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 100.
The UK economy grew 0.8% during the period, confirming earlier estimates.
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 Thanksgiving holiday.
In ADR news, French state-controlled power company Electricite de France Tuesday sold its entire 4.01% stake in utility Veolia Environnement SA ( VE ) 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.