LONDON (The Deal) -- European stock indices gained a fillip from corporate news on Wednesday after Asian markets took a mixed set of Chinese data in stride.
In London, the FTSE 100 gained 0.48% to 6,305.35 after official data showed the unemployment rate had fallen to a new post-credit crisis low of 5.3%, while wage growth in the quarter ended September came in below expectations.
In Frankfurt, the DAX was up 0.89% at 10,929.24 and in Paris the CAC 40 expanded by 0.58% to 4,940.57.
Lisbon's PSI 20 index was up 0.69% at 5,292.33 but Portuguese government bonds fell after the country's center-right minority government, as expected, collapsed following a parliamentary vote, leaving an anti-austerity leftist coalition poised to take control.
SABMiller (SBMRY) rose almost 3% in London and AB InBev (BUD) edged higher in Belgium after the latter agreed to take the U.K. company over for £71 billion ($108 billion). AB InBev also struck a side-deal to sell SABMiller's stake in the MillerCoors LLC joint venture to Molson Coors (TAP - Get Report) for $12 billion, provided the larger takeover closes.
Also in the brewing sector, Carlsberg (CABGY) was up well over 6% in Copenhagen after announcing a plan to cut 15% of its work force after posting a third-quarter loss following write-downs on Russian and Chinese operations.
In London, interdealer broker Tullett Prebon (TULLF) was down more than &%, and larger rival ICAP (IAPLY) up about 6% after the companies announced a deal for ICAP to sell Tullett Prebon its voice broking and information business. The transaction will put 36.1% of the enlarged Tullett Prebon in the hands of ICAP shareholders, hand 19.9% to ICAP itself, and leave a 44% stake with existing Tullett Prebon shareholders.
TalkTalk Telecom (TKTCY) shot up almost 11% after surprising investors by raising its first-half dividend by 15%, instead of cutting it The company put the impact of a high-profile cyber attack on customer data last month at up to £35 million.
Food retailer J Sainsbury (JSAIY) was down close to 4% after first-half results showed a 1.6% decline in same-store sales and a 2% decrease in overall sales to £13.6 billion. Pretax profit slumped almost 18% to £308 million.
Small-cap fans and commercial heating systems maker Energy Technique was up about 12% at 335 pence after agreeing to a 345 pence-a-share takeover by ventilation products and hand-driers maker Volution Group . The deal values Energy Technique's share capital at £9.25 million.
German chemicals maker Henkel led the DAX higher, rising about 7%, as it lifted its full-year earnings-per-share guidance as it posted strong third-quarter results.
But fertilizers maker K+S, which recently saw off an unwanted bid from Canada's Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, was the worst performer on the 30-member Frankfurt benchmark index. It was down more than 3% as it lowered the top end of full-year forecasts for Ebitda and Ebit because of issues in its potash and magnesium products business unit and weakness in the potassium chloride market. The company still expects earnings to be up significantly year-on-year, it predicted, as it announced a 23% increase in nine-month Ebit to € 628 million ($674.5 million).
Also in Frankfurt, Dialog Semiconductor (DLGNF) edged higher after defending its planned $3.9 billion takeover of rival chipmaker Atmel (ATML) following an attack by Elliott Associates LP. Dialog shareholders will vote on the deal on Nov. 19.
UniCredit was up almost 2% in Milan ahead of a quarterly earnings report and strategy update that is expected to include news of job cuts and asset sales.
It was a mixed day in Asia, with Indian markets closed for Diwali and most other major benchmarks little changed.
Amid a slew of Chinese data, year-on-year growth in October retail sales came in slightly ahead of expectations, at 11%, up from 10.9% in September, while October industrial output growth slipped to a below-forecast 5.6% from 5.7% in September.
The Shanghai Composite edged up 0.27% to 3,650.25. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng closed down 0.22% at 22,352.17. In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 eked out a 0.10% gain to close at 19,691.39. The Topix rose 0.37% to 1,595.32.