LONDON (TheDeal) -- European stocks were back in positive territory on Wednesday, recovering from a three-day decline amid stronger-than-expected German consumer confidence and as deal momentum boosted individual stocks, including Imperial Tobacco (ITYBY).
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 0.55% at 6,987.19, while in Paris, the CAC 40 was 0.36% higher at 5.101.99. Frankfurt's benchmark DAX index was the laggard, but still 0.08% up at 11,634,84 by late morning local time.
Market sentiment got a boost from Europe's largest economy, where GfK said that German consumer confidence rose to a reading of 10.2 for June from 10.10 in May -- its eighth consecutive increase and its highest level since October 2001.
"The newly found love for shopping should continue boosting private consumption in the months ahead," predicted Frankfurt-based economist Carsten Brzeski of ING-DiBa in a note.
Later today, European investors will be watching meetings in Brussels between Greek officials and international creditors for new developments on the highly volatile Greek debt situation. A Group of Seven finance chiefs' gathering is also taking place in Dresden, Germany.
Leading London gainers, Imperial Tobacco was up 2.35%, a day after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission granted conditional approval on the sale of four cigarette brands to the company, in return for giving the thumbs up to Reynolds American's (RAI) $27 billion merger with Lorillard (LO).
To allay competition concerns, the merging companies will sell Reynolds' Winston, Kool and Salem as well as Lorillard's Maverick brands to Imperial Tobacco, roughly in line with the companies' July 2014 agreement.