European Equities Close Higher as UK Household Spending Advances, Commodities Sector Rallies

European equities closed higher on Wednesday, buoyed by an increase in household spending in the U.K. and a rally among metal mining stocks that helped to offset underwhelming economic results from France and Spain.

In macro-economic news, household spending adjusted for inflation grew by 0.9% in the UK in Q3, according to the Office of National Statistics. The main contribution to growth was from spending on transport, including purchases of motor cars, which rose by 1.7% when compared with Q2.

In France, household expenditure on goods declined for a second month in a row in November 2015, according to France's statistics office, INSEE. A 1.1% decrease in volume was recorded, the largest contraction since January 2014, after a 0.2% fall in October. A slide in energy consumption, which decreased by 5.6%, and a 4.7% decline in spending on textile-clothing contributed to the fall.

The annual rate of the General Industrial Price Index stood at -2.6% in Spain in November, only one tenth higher than the level recorded in October, according to Spain's national statistics institute INE.

And, in the US, consumer confidence rose to its highest level since July, with the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index registering a reading of 92.6 in December, up from 91.3 in November. The December reading is nearly equal to the 2015 average of 92.9, which was the highest since 2004. Lower inflation contributed to the December gain.

In equities, mining stocks dominated the gainers on London's FTSE 100, with Anglo American, Glencore, BG Group, BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto 6.7%, 8.5%, 2.3%, 5.0% and 6.1% higher, respectively.

On the DAX, steel maker ThyssenKrupp rose 6.7%, electricity and gas major RWE rose by 6.0% and Deutsche Bank gained 3.5%.

Steel maker Arcelor Mittal jumped 11.1% on the CAC-40, project management and engineering company Technip was 5.9% higher, Schneider Electricity, an electricity distribution company, was up by 3.6%, followed by Engie, a natural gas and electricity supplier, up by 3.6%. Renault, the car-maker, was 2.6% higher.

The FTSE 100 closed 2.60% higher, the DAX gained 2.28% and the CAC-40 advanced by 2.34%.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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