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The Deal: European, Asian Stocks Rise as Recovery Gathers Pace

LONDON (The Deal) -- Stock indices in Europe and Asia posted gains amid further signs of the recovery gathering pace and ahead of expected positive economic data from U.S. later Wednesday.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.27% at 6,670.46, while in Frankfurt the DAX rose 0.33% to 9,634.94. In Paris, the CAC 40 added 0.09% to 4,430.73.

In the U.K., the Nationwide Building Society released a report showing that house prices in March were up for the 15th straight month, slightly below the 2007 peak.

From the other side of the Atlantic, investors are waiting for a report from the ADP Research Institute expected to show that U.S. companies added more workers in March. A separate report due out from the Commerce Department report is expected to show a rise in February factory orders, after a fall in January.

In Frankfurt, Deutsche Post rose 4.20%, after the mail and logistics group projected annual earnings growth of more than 8% between 2013-2020, with the DHL division being the main contributor to group revenue and profitability growth. As for M&A, the Bonn-based firm said it will focus on organic growth along with bolt-on acquisitions and small disposals.

In France, network-equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) rose 4.05% after broker Natixis put out a 'buy' recommendation. Alstom added to Monday's gains on a $1 billion-plus deal to sell a unit to German buyout shop Triton Advisers Ltd.

IPO fever also continued to spread, as Spanish testing services provider Applus+ announced plans to float on four Spanish exchanges: Barcelona, Bilbao, Madrid and Valencia. It's not given a valuation, but media reports suggest it could exceed 2 billion euros ($2.8 billion).

Asian indices closed their trading day in the green. In Tokyo, the Nikkei index rose 1.04% to 14,946. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng advanced 0.34% to 22,523.94.

In Singapore, shares in Hong Kong-based agricultural and energy company Noble Group gained 5.02%, after it agreed to sell 51% of its agricultural trading unit to China's Cofco for $1.5 billion. Joining Cofco is a consortium of minority investors led by Chinese private-equity firm Hopu Investments.

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