LONDON ( The Deal) -- European stocks followed Asian indices higher on Wednesday, with several mainland benchmarks extending gains after weak eurozone inflation data spurred hopes that the European Central Bank will expand a program of government bond buying.

Data from the European Commission's statistics arm showed the eurozone inflation rate unexpectedly turned negative in September, at minus 0.1%, after prices rose 0.1% in August. Economists had been expecting a zero inflation rate.

Across the Channel, final U.K. second-quarter GDP figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the economy grew slightly less than originally expected -- at an annual rate of 2.4% instead of 2.6% -- though the ONS kept the quarter-on-quarter growth rate of 0.7% unchanged.

In London, the FTSE 100 was up 2.0% at 6,027.19. In Frankfurt, the DAX rose 2.39% to 9,675.86. The CAC 40 in Paris was up 2.48% at 4,451.25.

Food retailer J Sainsbury  (JSAIY)  led the FTSE 100 higher, rising about 13% after reporting that second-quarter sales fell less than expected and stating that full-year profit will come in moderately ahead of consensus expectations.

Glencore  (GLNCY)  had rebounded another 11% as of late morning in London after rising almost 17% on Tuesday. The mining and commodities company put out a statement saying it has "taken proactive steps to position our company to withstand current commodity market conditions" and insisting it has "absolutely no solvency issues."

U.K.-based, France-focused appliances retailer Darty jumped 17% in London after the company said Groupe Fnac had made an all-share takeover proposal that valued its stock at £534 million ($810 million). The Fnac offer was a 25% premium to Darty's closing price on Tuesday.

Saga, a provider of financial and travel services for the older-50s which held an IPO last year, was up close to 3% in London after reporting solid first-half figures.

HSBC Holdings (HSBC)  rose more than 2% after UBS analysts upgraded their recommendation to buy from neutral and lifted their price target.

In Paris, Vivendi  (VIVHY) was up almost 3%. It said late yesterday it would buy production company Mars Films for an undisclosed price.

In Frankfurt, insurer Muenchener Rueckversicherungs-Gesellschaft, or Munich RE, was one of the weaker performers on the DAX, rising under 2% after news that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A - Get Report)  has cut its stake to 9.7% from 12%. 

Major Asian markets ended the day higher.

In Tokyo the Nikkei 225 rebounded by 2.70% to close at 17,388.15, while the Topix gained 2.59% to close at 1,411.16.

In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 rose 2.10% to 5,021.63.

New Hope Corp. closed up almost 7% in Sydney after agreeing to buy Rio Tinto Group's (RIO) 40% stake in the Bengalla mine in Australia for $606 million. Rio Tinto, the Australian part of the dual-listed company, closed up 4.5%.

Origin Energy shares were suspended after falling more than 10% on Tuesday. The company said on Wednesday it will sell A$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) in shares at a 34% discount to its A$6.10 Tuesday closing price to cut debt and maintain its investment-grade credit rating.

It also said it would begin a "controlled exit" from certain geothermal and international exploration activities. 

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed up 1.41% at 20,846.30. On mainland China, the Shanghai Composite closed up 0.48% at 3,052.78.