European benchmarks rose Wednesday on the back of solid gains in the mining and resources sectors as well as an upbeat set of economic reports released during the session.
Mining stocks continued to rebound from last week's losses, supported by solid gains for metals futures prices in London and a string of encouraging economic numbers to have emerged from China earlier in the week.
Chinese industrial production numbers showed the steel industry remaining in rude health during the recent month while data from the People's Bank of China showed the banking sector's NPL ratio remaining steady and net profits growing at a double digit pace in the second-quarter.
Closer to home, a solid labor market report from the U.K. helped to lift the pound off from a one-month low against the dollar while GDP numbers for Italy and the eurozone confirmed a further acceleration of growth during the second-quarter.
The FTSE 100 rose 0.70% to 7,440 in London while the CAC 40 added 1.06%% to 5,194 on the other side of the English channel in Paris. In Frankfurt, the DAX index was also up by 0.96% to 12,293 while, in Southern Europe, the IBEX and the FTSE MIB were up 0.80% and 1.3% respectively.
Other risers in London included financial services group Prudential, which sold its U.S. broker dealer network to LPL Financial LLC for $325 million and some change further down the line.
In Paris, mining and steel giant ArcelorMittal (MT) - Get Report was the biggest gainer on the CAC 40 after rising 2.15% during early trading while, in Frankfurt, RWE (RWEOY) was up more than 3% in Frankfurt, gaining strongly for its third straight session after unveiling a solid set of quarterly numbers on Monday.
Lufthansa (DLAKY) had topped the DAX index during the early hours of the session before moderating gains later on. On Tuesday the German government said Lufthansa and one other airline are in talks to acquire the assets of Air Berlin (AIBEF) out of bankruptcy. The smaller rival fell into administration after backer Etihad Airways pulled financing from the loss making outfit.
Reuters cited a source when it wrote that both would-be buyers were propelled into action by a desire to prevent the airline's flight routes and other assets falling into the hands of Europe's largest airline, Ryanair (RYAAY) - Get Report . Ryanair has since filed a complaint with the European Commission over the allegedly anti-competitive behavior of the German government and Lufthansa.