RTTNews - The European markets rose on Wednesday, as better-than-expected corporate earnings from companies such as Akzo Nobel and Bayer cheered investor sentiment.

In economic news, the U.S. Commerce Department said in its report that durable goods orders fell by 2.5% in June following a downwardly revised 1.3% increase in May. Economists had expected orders to fall by 0.6% compared to the 1.8% increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding the drop in orders for transportation equipment, orders for durable goods actually rose 1.1% in June compared to a 0.8% increase in May. The increase surprised economists, who had expected ex-transportation orders to come in unchanged.

Crude for September delivery fell $3.89 to $63.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed, on falling consumer confidence and weak U.S. demand.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.87% higher at 910.67 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.68% to 2,256.21 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.41% to 4,547.53, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 1.04% to 3,365.62 and Germany's DAX index climbed 1.85% to 5,270.32.

Akzo Nobel, the world's largest maker of coatings and paints, surged up 9.8% after the company reported earnings that beat analysts' estimate.

German chemicals and drugs maker Bayer climbed 5.4% after the company reported second quarter earnings that fell from last year but came in above analysts' expectations.

Daimler, the world's second biggest maker of luxury cars, rose 4.6% after the company reported a narrower-than-estimated second quarter loss.

Peugeot, Europe's second biggest carmaker, jumped 10.9% after the company's first-half loss came in better than analysts' expectations.

Orthopedic devices maker Synthes rallied 9.4% after the company reported first-half net income that beat analysts' estimate and said it expects to maintain its current performance in the full year.

On the other hand, ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steelmaker, fell 4.4% after the company reported a wider-than-estimated second quarter loss.

Mining stocks edged lower after copper prices fell for a second day in London. BHP Billiton, the world's biggest miner, dropped 2.4%, while Rio Tinto, the third biggest, slipped 1.8% and copper miner Antofagasta lost 1.3%.

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