European Stocks Up as Eurozone Industrial Production Rises

LONDON ( The Deal) -- European markets rose Thursday, after a report on industrial production in the 18-country eurozone boosted confidence in the economic recovery and as investors awaited the latest on U.S. retail sales and jobless claims. Asian stocks fell.

In London, the FTSE 100 rose 0.14% to 6,848.41, while the DAX in Frankfurt added 0.19% to 9,969.16. In France, the benchmark CAC 40 added 0.41% to 4,573.58.

Seasonally adjusted industrial production in the countries using the common currency rose by 0.8% in April, the strongest growth since November last year and following a 0.4% decline in March, according to figures released by Eurostat, the EU's statistics agency.

Economist Carsten Brzeski of ING Groep said that while first-quarter GDP growth was disappointing, the latest industrial production data points to a growth acceleration in the second quarter.

"The ongoing pace of the recovery and signs of low inflation suggest that the ECB [European Central Bank] probably did not act last week because it really had to but rather because it could," he added.

In London, shares in mining giant Anglo American led commodity stocks lower, shedding 3.06% to 6,847.47 pence, after Morgan Stanley issued a sell recommendation on the stock, while shares in online supermarket Ocado Group gained nearly 1.5% to 3,72.80 pence, on a new buy recommendation from JPMorgan Chase.

AstraZeneca (AZN) rose 1.06% to 4,445.50 pence after announcing a global license agreement with Synairgen on a novel inhaled medication for treating respiratory tract infections in patients with severe asthma. The medication, referred to as SNG001, supports the immune system by correcting a deficiency that makes patients more susceptible to infections.

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