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European stocks end higher

European stocks end higher

European stock markets closed higher Wednesday, with oil-price weakness and speculation over possible consolidation in the automotive industry among the factors lifting shares in a thinly traded session.
Following a five-day Christmas hiatus taken by European investors, the German DAX Xetra 30 index closed up 1.6 percent at 6,608.86, led by steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and by automakers DaimlerChrysler and BMW.
In France, the CAC 40 rose 1.6 percent to 5,540.01, while the U.K.'s FTSE 100 improved 0.9 percent to 6,245.20.
February-dated crude oil trended back below $61 a barrel.
The weakness in oil prices, combined with confirmation that top Toyota and Ford executives met in recent days, helped auto shares such as DaimlerChrysler and Renault, which rose 3 percent.
Brewers Diageo and SABMiller each rose at least 1.6 percent and cigarette maker British American Tobacco moved up 1.5 percent. Tobacco stocks in Europe have been on the rise since Gallaher Group announced it was in takeover talks, which in turn led to an acquisition agreement with Japan Tobacco.
InterContinental Hotels rose 2.9 percent in London on speculation that it may get a bid from a private-equity firm.
Shares of KarstadtQuelle rose 0.9 percent after agreeing a memorandum of understanding to buy the half it didn't already own in travel agent Thomas Cook for euro800 million (US$1.05 billion). It is to buy the stake from Deutsche Lufthansa, shares of which rose 0.6 percent.
Crucell shares gained 2.3 percent in Amsterdam after agreeing to expand a licensing agreement with drug giant Merck. Financial terms weren't disclosed.
Italian tiremaker Pirelli rose 4.7 percent as Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore reported that it is in talks with banks, private-equity firms and large European telecom companies over the potential acquisition of the stake in Telecom Italia owned by Olimpia.


Updated : 2021-04-14 21:55 GMT+08:00