LONDON (The Deal) -- European stocks were back in positive territory on Wednesday as investors snapped up shares in companies including Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) and Danish brewer Carlsberg (CABGY) .
In London, the FTSE 100 added 1.29% to 5,705.08, while in Frankfurt the DAX gained 2.65% to 9,115.06. In Paris, the CAC 40 jumped 2.34% to 4,097.17.
S&P 500 futures were up 1% at 1,867, ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's eagerly awaited testimony before Congress.
In the U.K., the mood was slightly tempered by a greater-than-expected 1.2% monthly drop in U.K. industrial production in December, led by a 4% decline in mining and quarrying.
But in most main markets across the region, deal news and bullish corporate outlooks lifted a number of stocks and inspired a return to buying.
In Frankfurt, Deutsche Bank was up more than 10.5% after Bloomberg News reported that Germany's largest lender is thinking about buying back some of its debt, a day after CEO John Cryan reassured staff that the lender is "rock solid."
Among other banks, Commerzbank added 7.63% in Frankfurt, BNP Paribas was up 6.82% in Paris, Unicredit climbed 13% in Milan and Greece's Eurobank Ergasias added 7.04% in Athens after a sharp decline on Tuesday.
In Oslo, Opera Software (OPESY) soared 37% after the maker of Web software agreed to a $1.2 billion takeover offer from a group of Chinese buyers backed by mobile gaming developer Beijing Kunlun Tech Co. and Internet security specialist Qihoo 360 Technology (QIHU) .
It was also a good day for Heineken (HEINY) and Carslberg, as the world's third- and fourth-largest brewers, respectively, gave bullish full-year outlooks that had investors raising their glasses.
In Copenhagen, Carlsberg was up 4.75% following its forecast of low-single-digit organic operating profit growth in 2016 and a further reduction in financial leverage. The company, which said 2015 was challenging in Western and Eastern Europe but saw its Asian business grew, is due to unveil its new strategy in March.
Heineken rose 0.63% in Amsterdam after the company said it expects to deliver further organic revenue and profit growth in 2016 "despite and increasingly challenging external environment." In 2015, Heineken's profit before exceptional items and amortization rose by 16.2% to €2.05 billion.
In London, Pinewood Group climbed nearly 19%. The film studio whose credits include Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the latest Spectre James Bond film, said its expectations for the financial year ending on March 31 are higher than they were last December and said it had launched a strategic review of the business that could lead to a sale of the film studio.
In Paris, Hermès International was up 1.38%, recovering from an initial decline after the French maker of luxury goods warned that sales growth this year could fall below the medium-term 8% target amid global economic, geopolitical and monetary uncertainties. Annual results for 2015 are due out in late March, with the company saying that operational profitability should be close to the 2014 figure of 31.5%, despite the diluting impact of currency fluctuations.
Among decliners, Royal Ten Cate slid 0.47%. in Amsterdam. The Utrecht-based maker of fabrics for protective gear worn by firefighters, police and the armed forces, will soon be delisted from Euronext after a consortium led by Gilde Buy Out Partners BV said it had secured 98.01% of the shares, to be followed by a planned mandatory squeeze-out.
In London, Tullow Oil (TUWOY) erased 7.34% after posting a wider-than-expected 2015 loss following writedowns exacerbated from falling oil prices. Broken down by category, the writedowns included $749 million for exploration, a $406 million pretax impairment charge and an "onerous" $186 million service contract the company blamed on much lower levels of exploration and appraisal drilling activity planned for the first half of 2016.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 2.31% to 15,713.39, led by declines in mining companies including Sumitomo Metal Mining and Mitsubishi Materials on cuts in profit forecasts.