LONDON (TheDeal) -- European stocks were in another buoyant mood on Wednesday, as an Asian rally overshadowed an unexpected fall in U.K. industrial production and a widening trade deficit.
In London, the FTSE 100 was up 1.76% at 6,254.49, the CAC 40 climbed 2.19% in Paris and the DAX added 1.80% in Frankfurt.
The upbeat mood was inspired largely by Asia, where the Nikkei jumped nearly 8% in Tokyo after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to move ahead with a planned corporate tax cut.
In Europe, news out of the U.K. failed to dampen the mood. Industrial production fell 0.4% in July over the previous months, the largest decline since May 2014, the Office of National Statistics said. A separate report showed that the U.K.'s trade deficit had widened to GBP 3.4 billion ($5.23 billion) in July from a deficit of GBP 800 million the previous month, with the biggest drop coming in chemical exports.
Mining and metals giants Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton BHP all rallied in London, amid expectations of further stimulus measures in China, a large market for their industry, and expectations the recent market volatility in that country will be contained.
A number of stocks also rose on positive corporate news.
Financial services company Hargreaves Landsdown (HRGLF) rose more than 6% after posting an 18% jump in client assets for the fiscal year through June 30.
Baratt Developments was also up, rising 1.10% after the U.K.'s third-largest homebuilder posted a 40.8% jump in full-year profit driven by strong consumer demand across all regions. The company completed a total of 14,838 homes, the most in seven years and 10.8% more than the previous year.
In a statement, Barratt CEO David Thomas added that the company is "making very good progress" towards fiscal 2017 targets of 20% gross margins and at least a 25% return on capital employed.
In Dublin, Ryanair Holdings (RYAAY) gained altitude after raising its full-year profit guidance by 25%.
The stock was up 6.5% in late-morning trading after Europe's largest low-cost carrier said it expects net profit in the 12 months to March 31 to be in a range of €1.175 million to €1.225 billion, from a previous range of €940 million to €970 million, following stronger than expected peak summer traffic and customers paying slightly higher fares.
In Stockholm, ComHem Holding was up nearly 4% following a Bloomberg News reports on recent talks with Denmark's TDC A/S over a possible takeover by Denmark's largest telecommunications provider. Citing people familiar with the matter, the report said the companies had held discussions off and on over the past months in what would be TDC's largest acquisition.
And in Zurich, ABB Ltd. (ABB) was almost 1% higher after the Swiss-Swedish engineering group announced a strategic review of its power grids division. The company also announced an extra $1 billion in costs by the end of 2017 to free up $2 billion in cash and said it would become more active in "value-creating acquisitions."
The moves form the next phase of a corporate overhaul to help the company become "leaner, faster and more agile," as CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer put it. "This will drive the shift of our center of gravity towards higher growth, greater competitiveness and lower risk."
Among decliners, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) shed 0.75% after reporting disappointing medical study results for its asthma drug Relvar/Breo Ellipta.
Specifically, the study found that the drug did not extend the lives of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with moderate airflow limitation and either a history or increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Virgin Money Holdings UK was also down. The stock fell 4.23% after Wilbur Ross's WL Ross & Co. LLC unexpectedly sold another 50 million shares, slashing its stake from 23% to 12%. Shares were sold via an accelerated book-build at a 4.4% discount to Tuesday's close.
Despite the immediate negative reaction, analysts at Investec see the increased liquidity as a positive, and reiterated their 'buy' recommendation on the stock.
Asian benchmark indices ended their day in the green, with the Nikkei the biggest star of the day, rising 7.71% to 18,770.51. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose 4.10% to 22,131.31.