The broad-based major European indices closed higher in Tuesday trading as technology, automotive and luxury goods stocks buoyed the markets.
In economic news, the UK's Office for National Statistics ( ONS ) reported that there were 32.41 million people in work during Q3, 23,000 more than the previous quarter, and 350,000 more than the same quarter last year. The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 years who were in work) was 75.5%, up from 75.0% a year earlier.
There were 1.38 million unemployed people (people not in work but seeking and available to work), 21,000 more than the previous quarter, but 43,000 fewer than for the year-ago quarter. The unemployment rate (the number of unemployed people as a proportion of all employed and unemployed people) was 4.1%, slightly higher than the previous quarter, but lower than the 4.3% reported a year earlier.
ONS also reported that output per hour, which is the main measure of labor productivity, decreased 0.4% in Q3 after increasing 0.5% in the previous quarter. However, output per worker increased by 0.5%.
In Germany, consumer prices were 2.5% higher in October than during the same month last year, according to the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis). It was the highest inflation rate recorded since September 2008, when consumer prices rose 2.8%. Compared with September, the consumer price index rose 0.2%.
Destatis said the increase of energy product prices "had a considerable effect" on the inflation rate, rising 8.9% in October compared to October 2017.
Destatis also reported that employment continued to increase in Q3 as the number of persons in employment whose place of employment was in Germany amounted to 45.04 million, exceeding the 45 million mark for the first time since German reunification. The number of people employed increased by 556,000, or 1.3%., compared with Q3 of 2017, and rose and by 259,000, or 0.6%, compared with Q2. After seasonal adjustments, the number of persons in employment increased by 117,000, or 0.3%, in Q3 compared with the previous quarter.
In equities, telecommunications operator Vodafone, and turnaround firm Melrose Industries helped nudge the FTSE into positive territory in London, climbing 7.8% and 7.4% respectively, followed by consumer reporting agency Experian, and software firm Micro Focus International, which rose 4.5% and 4.2%. Home builders Barratt Developments, and Berkeley Group were up 4% and 3.5%, while bank Standard Chartered closed 3.2% higher.
In Frankfurt, semiconductor company Infineon, and airline operator Lufthnasa led the DAX sharply higher, rising 4.2% and 4.1% respectively, followed by internet company Wirecard, and adhesives manufacturer Covestro, whichclimbed 3.5% and 3.3%. Automotive stocks also helped boost the market as automakers Daimler, BMW, and Volkswagen were up 2.9%, 1.9%, and 1.3% respectively, while tire maker Continental closed 1.2% higher.
In Paris, semiconductor company STMicroelectronics led the CAC higher rising 3.4%, followed by luxury goods companies Kering, Hermes International, and Louis Vuitton climbed 3.1%, 2.5%, and 2.4% respectively. Auto parts supplier Valeo, and cosmetics company L'Oreal each closed 1.8% higher, while hotel operator Accor, and automaker Renault were up 1.7% and 1.6%.
The FTSE edged 0.01% higher, the DAX climbed 1.30%, and the CAC-40 rose 0.85%.