European stocks rose early on Wednesday, with the FTSEurofirst 300 index increasing 1.0 per cent to 1,294.42 points.

Technology companies did well with Nokia rising 2.9 per cent, TeliaSonera up 5.4 percent and Infineon up 6.8 per cent.

Luxury goods company LVMH went saw the value of its shares rise 4.9 per cent after good first quarter sales growth.

Oil companies saw their values edge up on Wednesday with BP rising 0.5 per cent, Royal Dutch Shell up 0.6 per cent and Total up 1.6 per cent.

Europes biggest banks also had a good start to the day with Barclays, Credit Suisse, Royal Bank of Scotland and Societe Generale all rising 2.4-3.8 per cent each.

Drug company Elan Corp rose 8.0 per cent.

One of the early losers of the day was L'Oreal whose share value fell 6.0 per cent following news of poor first quarter sales.