LONDON ( The Deal) -- Better-than-expected German factory orders and perpetual hopes of eurozone monetary stimulus boosted European stocks on Friday, even as Germany's central bank cut its growth outlook for Europe's largest economy.
Figures from the German government statistics office showed seasonally adjusted factory orders jumped by 2.5% in October from September, well above expectations for a 0.5% rise. Meanwhile, European Commission figures showed the eurozone economy expanded 0.2% quarter on quarter in the three months to September, and swelled 0.8% year on year, as expected. Separately, the Bundesbank slashed its German growth forecast to 1% next year, half the 2% growth rate it had predicted in June.
Must Read: 10 Stocks Billionaire John Paulson Loves in 2014
Even though the European Central Bank failed to push the button on bond repurchases at a policy meeting on Thursday, ECB President Mario Draghi said the bank would reassess the situation early next year, keeping investor hopes alive of action as early as January.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.57% at 6,717.31. In Frankfurt, the DAX climbed 1.21% to 9,970.07 and in Paris the CAC 40 jumped 1.13% to 4,372.63.
In London, oilfield services group Intertek Group led the FTSE 100 higher, rising well over 3%, after Deutsche Bank said the company looked like a good value after a decline in its share price because of plummeting oil prices.
Balfour Beatty (BAFYY) was up more than 4% after it rejected a 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) offer for a portfolio of state-backed projects from John Laing Infrastructure Fund Ltd.
Songbird Estates slipped almost 3% after the majority owner of London's Canary Wharf financial services hub rejected a sweetened -- and final -- 350 pence-per-share, or 2.6 billion pounds ($4 billion) bid from Qatar Investment Authority and Brookfield Property Partners. Songbird shares were trading at 320.5 pence by mid-morning.
In Paris, resorts operator Pierre & Vacances was up more than 4% at 25.60 euros after Portzamparc lifted its recommendation to buy from hold, with an unchanged price target of 30 euros. Pierre & Vacances on Thursday disclosed that annual losses had shrunk at its tourism unit and also said it has struck a partnership deal with Beijing Capital Land to develop resorts in China.
In Frankfurt, United Internet was up more than 2% following a Goldman Sachs recommendation.
In Hong Kong, broker Haitong Securities closed up 12.4% after announcing it was in talks to buy Portuguese investment bank Banco Espirito Santo de Investimento, part of the Banco Espirito Santo (BKESY) group that the Portuguese government broke up and rescued in August. In Portugal, the government's bank resolution fund had on Thursday invited bidders for the "good" part of Banco Espirito Santo -- now called Novo Banco -- by year-end.
The Hang Seng closed up 0.71% at 24,002.64. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.19% to end the week at 17,920.45.
Must Read: Warren Buffett's Top 10 Dividend Stocks