RTTNews - The European markets rose for the fourth day on Tuesday, as investors were cheered by better-than-expected readings on U.S. consumer confidence and home price.

The Conference Board in the U.S. said its consumer confidence index jumped to 54.1 in August from an upwardly revised 47.4 in July. Economists had been expecting the index to increase to 47.9 from the 46.6 originally reported for the previous month.

A report showed that the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-U.S. City Composite Home Price Index fell at an annual rate of 15.4% in June compared to a revised 17% drop in May. Economists had expected prices to fall 16.4% compared to the same month a year ago.

U.S. President Barack Obama reappointed Ben Bernanke as Federal Reserve chairman for a second term. Bernanke's reappointment, though expected, came sooner than anticipated and removed any uncertainty about a potential replacement.

Crude for October delivery fell $0.66 to $73.71 a barrel in trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, by the time the European markets closed. The contract briefly touched $75 a barrel earlier in the session.

The FTSEurofirst 300 index of pan-European blue chips closed 0.37% higher at 978.76 points, while the narrower DJ Stoxx 50 index rose 0.51% to 2,415.40 points.

Around Europe, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 index rose 0.42% to 4,916.80, while France's CAC 40 index surged up 0.78% to 3,680.61 and Germany's DAX index climbed 0.68% to 5,557.09.

Royal Bank of Scotland, Britain's second largest bank, surged up 3.1% on market talk that the company is looking to buy back shares from the UK government.

Vodafone, the world's largest mobile phone company, rose 2.2% and France Telecom, Europe's third largest phone company, climbed 3.7% after JPMorgan strategists upgraded European phone stocks.

Heavily weighted oil stocks rebounded from earlier losses. BP, Europe's biggest oil company, rose 0.9%, while Royal/Dutch Shell, the second biggest, climbed 1.5% and Total, the third biggest, added 0.8%.

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