European stock markets were higher across the board on Wednesday as investor sentiment picked up in response to decent economic numbers emerging from the continent and further afield, as well as a raft of company announcements.
Purchasing managers' index surveys from Spain, Italy, France and Germany all showed that eurozone economies having gotten a solid start to the year. Manufacturing surveys for both the U.K. and China also pointed toward healthy industrial industrial conditions during January.
The FTSE 100 rose by 0.12%% to 7,107 for the session. The CAC 40 in France gained 0.96% to close at 4,794. The DAX in Frankfurt added 1.08% to close at 11,659. The FTSE MIB in Italy was 0.81% higher at 18,740.
In London, the pharmaceuticals sector was particularly buoyant as investors responded to President Trump's retreat from earlier pledges to force down drug prices.
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HKMPY) , the generic drug manufacturer with nearly half of sales coming from the U.S., was among the top gainers on the FTSE 100 after notching up a 3% gain.
Additionally, Anglo American (NGLOY) was also up strongly for the session, gaining 1%, following solid gains for iron ore prices and expectations that it could be nearing a sale of some of its coal assets in Australia.
In Germany, shares of industrial powerhouse Siemens (SIEGY) rose by more than 5.2% after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results. Earnings before exceptional items were 8% ahead of the the consensus, with particular strength coming from the group's health care division and its digital factory business.
Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Deutsche Bank AG Report stock also rose strongly, amid broad gains across the European banking sector, as investors piled into the German lender ahead of its fourth-quarter results, which are due out on Thursday morning. The stock was up by 4.2%.
In France, tire conglomerate Michelin (MGDDY) was among the top gainers, rising by more than 3% after the group announced a price increase of 8% across all of its products in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
Another big riser in Paris was construction firm Bouygues (BOUYF) which was awarded a €1.7 billion ($1.8 billion) contract by EDF (ECIFY) to help construct the buildings around a new nuclear power plant that is due to be built in the U.K. The stock rose by 2.4%.
In Spain, BBVA (BBVA) - Get Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. Sponsored ADR Report reported a 33% beat to consensus for net income in the fourth quarter, with business units in Mexico, Spain and the U.S. all performing strongly. Loan loss provisions were markedly reduced during the period, but uncertainty over the outlook for the Mexican business pushed the shares lower by more than 2%.