The European markets rose for the fifth day on Wednesday, as encouraging economic data and better-than-estimated results from companies such as BNP Paribas, BMW and Carlsberg cheered investors.
A report released by Automatic Data Processing, Inc. showed that non-farm private employment in the U.S. fell by 491,000 jobs in April following a revised decrease of 708,000 jobs in March. Economists had expected a decrease of 645,000 jobs compared to the loss of 742,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
In U.K., the Nationwide Building Society said the consumer confidence index rose eight points to 50 in April marking the largest single monthly rise for nearly two years. Economists had expected a slight increase to 43 from March's reading of 42.
China's central bank said the country's economy performed better than expected in the first quarter and promised to maintain ample liquidity in the financial system to sustain growth.
Crude for June delivery rose $1.95 to $55.79 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed, after a U.S. government report showed that unused crude being placed in storage slowed a bit last week.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 1.39% higher at 858.55 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 1.40% to 2,094.91 points.
Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index surged up 1.37% to 4,396.49, while France's CAC 40 index climbed 1.81% to 3,283.51 and Germany's DAX index rose 0.57% to 4,880.71.
BNP Paribas, France's largest bank, climbed 7.3% after the company reported first quarter earnings that fell 21% from last year but came in above analysts' expectations.
BMW, the world's biggest maker of luxury cars, rose 2.6% after the company reported a narrower than estimated first quarter loss.
Danish brewer Carlsberg jumped 14% after beating analysts' estimates for operating profit and repeating its forecast for net income.
Sage Group, Britain's biggest software marker, surged up 5.8% after the company reported first-half profit that increased 15% from last year.
Dutch retailer Ahold climbed 6.4% after the company said its first-quarter sales rose 15%, exceeding projections.
On the other hand, CRH, the world's second largest maker and distributor of building materials, slipped 7.3% after the company said a decline in its first-half earnings will be bigger than expected after bad weather hurt construction markets in Europe and North America.
Swiss specialty chemicals maker Clariant dropped 5.3% after the company reported a first quarter loss of 93 million francs.
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