Europe Markets

European Stocks Close Higher on US Earnings

Europe's major stock indexes closed higher Wednesday, following a mixed morning, as a strong set of earnings from the likes of Coca-Cola and JPMorgan boosted investor confidence.

Technology shares were the biggest gainers, after blockbuster earnings from the U.S. tech giants bolstered the sector. Energy stocks dipped following a strong four-day rally caused by surging oil prices, as commodity investors took profits.

U.S. stock futures were called higher ahead of the open as strong international sales helped Coca-Cola to post an increase in quarterly profit and JPMorgan Chase reported a profit increase for the quarter, despite a heavy writedown cost.

Even a sharp rise in U.S. September consumer prices didn't derail the positive sentiment.

Shares of Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto sank 2.9 percent after the company reported a 30 percent rise in third-quarter refined copper production, but said that copper output for the third-quarter fell by 6%.

The London FTSE-100 closed higher as minutes from the Bank of England's October meeting revealed only one policymaker voted to cut borrowing costs, while the other eight kept rates on hold at 5.75 percent.

Germany's DAX index finished slightly higher. Insurance company Munich Re said will acquire specialty insurance company Midland for $1.3 billion. As with most deals, shares in the acquiring company moved lower. Munich Re lost 0.8 percent.

The Paris CAC-40 also made firm gains at the close, while investors sifted through a flurry of mixed retail sales news from Accor, Carrefour and Danone.

And Air France-KLM announced plans to team up operations with US carrier Delta Air Lines on routes linking major US cities and London's Heathrow Airport.