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The Deal: European Stocks Get Bump From Yellen Testimony, Asian Shares Higher

LONDON (The Deal) -- Despite extreme weather, European markets opened in a sunnier mood on Wednesday, following Wall Street's Janet Yellen-related rise Tuesday and a similar recovery in Asia, in part on better-than-expected figures on Chinese trade. The new Federal Reserve chairwoman's assurance that interest rates will stay low for a while -- and a similar assurance expected from Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney this morning -- have helped relieve earlier tensions.

One of the big risers in London this morning is the U.K.'s No. 4 supermarket chain, Wm. Morrison. A Bloomberg report said the founding Morrison family, which still owns over 9%, has been considering working with private equity to take the company private. To do so they would have to pay enough to satisfy activist investors, including New York hedge funds Sandell Asset Management and Elliott Management who have been agitating for a sale or spin out of the company's property portfolio. Morrison's was up nearly 3% mid-morning at 244.2 pence a share.

In Paris, French lender Societe Generale de Banque was up nearly 6% at 46.87 euros on better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and digital media services group Technicolor was up over 10% at 4.18 euros after an agreement with South Korean electronics giant LG for the use of the French company's patented products in its new smartphones.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.43% at 6705, in Paris the CAC40 rose 0.66% to 4311.69 and in Frankfurt the DAX put on 0.96% to 9569.71.

Over in Asia, China's stronger-than-expected trade data suggested strong global demand for exported goods and improved Chinese demand for resources such as copper.  In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 closed up 0.56% at 14,800, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3% to 2109.96 and in Sydney, Australia, the ASX 200 continued its steady rise, going up a 1.06% to close at 5310.05.


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