RTTNews - The European markets rose for the second day on Tuesday after a report showed that U.S. consumer confidence rose to its highest level in eight months.

The Conference Board, an industry group, said in its report that the consumer confidence index rose to 54.9 in May from an upwardly revised reading of 40.8 in April. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 42.6 from the 39.2 originally reported for the previous month. With the increase, the index rose to its highest level since September of last year, when the index came in at a reading of 61.4.

Germany's Federal Statistical Office said the largest Eurozone economy contracted 3.8% on a sequential basis in the first quarter, which was the fourth straight quarter of decline and the biggest fall since records began in 1970. In the fourth quarter of 2008, the gross domestic product had slipped 2.2%.

Crude for July delivery fell $0.08 to $61.59 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.87% higher at 865.14 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 1.18% to 2,125.55 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index surged up 1.06% to 4,411.72, while France's CAC 40 index rose 1.05% to 3,270.09 and Germany's DAX index climbed 1.37% to 4,985.60.

Retailers were among the top gainers. Tesco, Britain's largest retailer, climbed 3.5%, while Carrefour, Europe's biggest retailer, rose 1.7% and Dutch retailer Ahold surged up 2.2%. Metro, Germany's largest retailer, gained 1.8%.

Heavily weighted oil stocks edged higher after crude oil prices pared losses and traded around $61.59 a barrel. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, rose 0.9%, while Royal/Dutch Shell, the second biggest, surged up 1% and Total, the third biggest, climbed 1.4%.

United Internet jumped 11% after the company agreed to buy Freenet's digital subscriber-line business for ?123 million in cash and stock.

On the other hand, French food group Danone slipped 5.2% after the company said it plans to raise ?3 billion in a rights offer.

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