RTTNews - The European markets rose for the ninth day on Thursday, the longest winning streak since 2006, as better-than-expected earnings from Roche to ABB and upbeat U.S. existing home sales data raised optimism that the global economy is on a recovery mode.

The National Association of Realtors in the U.S. said in its report that existing home sales rose 3.6% to an annual rate of 4.89 million units in June from a downwardly revised rate of 4.72 million in May. Nonetheless, sales were down 0.2% compared to the 4.90 million-unit level in the same month a year ago. Economists had expected sales to rise to a 4.84 million unit rate from the 4.77 million unit rate originally reported for the previous month.

The U.S. Labor Department said jobless claims rose to 554,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 524,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to increase to 557,000 from the 522,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Crude for September delivery rose $1.15 to $66.54 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed, following the release of U.S. existing home sales data.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 2.03% higher at 908.15 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 2.16% to 2,250.12 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 1.47% to 4,559.80, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 2.08% to 3,373.72 and Germany's DAX index climbed 2.45% to 5,247.28.

Swiss drugmaker Roche surged up 3.2% after the company reported better-than-estimated first-half earnings and raised its forecast for the full year because of increased savings from the acquisition of U.S. partner Genentech.

ABB, the world's largest builder of electricity grids, climbed 4.3% after the company reported second quarter profit that fell from last year but came in above analysts' expectations.

Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second largest bank, led banking stocks higher, rising 5.8% after the company reported a 29% jump in second quarter profit..

Sugar refiner Tate & Lyle rallied 8.8% after the company said its first quarter profit before tax and exceptional items from continuing operations was ahead of its expectations and similar to a year earlier.

Technip, Europe's second largest oilfield services provider, rallied 11% after the company reported a 13% increase in second quarter profit.

Mining stocks edged higher after metals prices advanced. BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, rose 4%, while Anglo American, the second biggest, climbed 5% and Rio Tinto, the third biggest, surged up 4.1%. Copper miner Antofagasta gained 4.5%.

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