LONDON (The Deal) -- European and Asian stocks markets moved upward on Tuesday, with some indices reaching six-year highs, though the German benchmark index pared strong early gains after a closely watched economic index missed forecasts.
Germany's ZEW research institute reported that investor and analyst expectations of the German economy unexpectedly decreased by 0.3 points to 61.7 points this month, whereas analysts had expected an index reading of 64 points. Despite the decline, the institute itself interpreted the result as confirming expectations of an economic upswing.
In Frankfurt, the DAX by late morning was up 0.30% at 9,744.98. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 0.40% at 4,340.01. In London, the FTSE edged up 0.10% to 6,843.45 as declining mining stocks eroded gains in other sectors.
In London, Unilever (UL) was a leading gainer after posting fourth-quarter sales which beat forecasts. Investors were particularly relieved about a 8.4% increase in what it calls underlying sales in emerging markets. Full-year net profit rose as operating margins improved despite a 3% decline in revenue to 49.8 billion euros ($67.4 billion). The Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant warned of "volatility in the external environment" in the months ahead.
In Paris, carmaker Peugot recovered some of the 11% decline it sustained Monday after it disclosed that it is considering selling up to 3 billion euros of shares, with a portion of the stock reserved for Dongfeng Motor Group and the French state. It has promised more news on its plans, as well as its long-running talks with the Chinese carmaker about a potential alliance that it has given no information on, at its full-year results announcement on Feb. 19.
In Hong Kong, computer maker Lenovo closed up 2.8% after disclosing talks about an acquisition which is widely assumed to be the low-cost server business of IBM (IBM). Lennovo, which has a market value of HK$109.2 billion ($14.1 billion), wouldn't name the third party it is in discussions with and called the talks preliminary. The two sides held unsuccessful talks about the server business last spring and in 2005 Lenovo paid $1.8 billion for IBM's PC business.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed up 0.45% at 23,033.12. Chinese indices rose even faster after the country's central bank injected about 255 billion renminbi ($42 billion) into the money supply, prompting money market rates to fall.