Europe Markets

Europe stocks end higher on Asia stimulus hopes

Europe stocks end higher on Asia stimulus hopes

European equities lost some steam by Wednesday's close, but finished solidly higher on hopes of further stimulus measures in China and Japan.

The pan-European STOXX 600 closed the day around 1.3 percent higher, with mining stocks, which are closely tied to the performance of the Chinese economy, outperforming.

Major European bourses pared gains but finished positive, with London's FTSE 100 index and the French CAC closing around 1.4 percent up.

Germany's DAX index closed a narrower 0.3 percent higher.

Europe followed Asian stocks higher, with Japan's Nikkei index logging its biggest percentage gain since October 2008, ending the day 7.7 percent higher. China's Shanghai Composite index also closed higher, up 2.3 percent.

The rally in Asia came amid hope for further stimulus measures in Japan and China. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged a corporate tax cut, while China's finance ministry put out a brief on Tuesday saying it was planning "fiscal measures to support growth".

In addition, China's premier, Li Keqiang, tried to reassure investors that the Chinese economy was still on track. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Dalian on Wednesday, Li said the government had scuppered systemic risks by taking measures to stabilize the market.

Next: A China-led world recession?

Miners rejoice; Ryanair shares take flight

Glencore ended the day 4.8 percent higher, continuing its rally that began when the London-listed miner announced a $10 billion packet of debt-reduction measures on Monday. The rest of the basic resources sector was given a boost, with Anglo American soaring, up 5.5 percent and BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto also ending sharply higher.

Autos were also sharply higher, due to the positive sentiment towards China, with France's Renault and Peugeot Citroen and Germany's BMW all closing in positive territory.

Shares in British budget airline Ryanair pared gains by the close, but still ended 4.9 percent higher after the carrier raised its annual profit forecast for the year by 25 percent after a strong summer.

Hargreaves Lansdown saw shares shoot up 7 percent by the close, after it reported "record levels" of revenue, assets under administration and active client numbers.

Oil prices however slumped in Wednesday's trade, as concerns remained over the combination of an oversupply in production and weakening demand growth. Brent crude trading around $48.50 per barrel, while U.S. WTI crude sank to $45.15.

Meanwhile in Europe, the region's migrant crisis continues to dominate the agenda. On Wednesday, the head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, gave a "state of the union" speech and said that the European Union must relocate 160,000 refugees within the bloc.