LONDON ( The Deal) -- Major European markets were all higher Wednesday, reflecting in part Germany's new coalition agreement between Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats and the left-of-center Social Democrats, or SPD. It's taken a couple of months to get to this point following the election and there's still uncertainty to come as the Social Democrats poll their members, but it's a big step forward.

An influential survey showed German consumer confidence at a six-year high. In the U.K., the Office for National Statistics said the economy grew 0.8% in the third quarter, pointing to a continued recovery but exports were still disappointing.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.23% at 6,651, while in Frankfurt, Germany's DAX Xetra was up 0.19% at 9.307.99. In Paris, where the market seemed to be waiting for the publication of U.S. indicators, including the October durable goods orders and weekly jobless claims, the CAC40 opened higher, but then softened. It was still up about 0.1% later in the morning.

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Over in Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up over 0.5% at 23,806.35, Japan's Nikkei 225 was down 0.42% at 15,449.62, after a 2.8% plunge in the price of index heavyweight Softbank, and possibly also reflecting renewed tensions with China.