European markets closed higher on Wednesday as investors took cues from overseas markets and digested fresh earnings reports.
Banks drive stocks higher
The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed 1.29 percent higher with almost all bourses and most sectors trading in positive territory.
Banks ended the trading day as the best-performing stocks, jumping over 3 percent. According to Reuters, citing sources, Deutsche Bank is to announce a partial initial public offering of its asset management unit. Its shares were more than 5.7 percent higher. The bank declined to comment when contacted by CNBC.
Construction stocks and autos were also higher as investors see President Donald Trump implementing his election pledges.
Basic resources were among the worst performers after key mining firms reported earnings. Antofagasta reported a 13 percent rise in copper production compared to a year ago, slightly below expectations.
Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average finally edged above the elusive 20,000 threshold and continued higher as investors digested a host of earnings reports.
Novartis shares rise
Looking at specific stocks, Logitech led the European benchmark, rising more than 15.5 percent, after stronger-than-expected results in its third quarter. It now expects retail sales to rise between 12 to 13 percent for its full fiscal year, that's more than its previous guidance of between 8 to 10 percent.
WH Smith shares closed more than 7 percent higher after reporting higher expectations for its full-year profit.
The pharmaceutical firm Novartis reported Wednesday morning a core operating income that was down by 2 percent in its latest fiscal year due to "generic erosion and growth investments." Net income was higher by 1 percent. Its shares ended up by 2.4 percent on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Spanish bank Santander said Wednesday that its net profit stood at 1.6 billion euros ($1.72 billion) in the fourth quarter, an increase from 25 million euros compared to a year ago. Its shares closed up more than 3.6 percent.
BT shares recover
Also, in corporate news, BT lost a fifth of its market value on Tuesday after reporting accounting problems in its Italian business. The British telecom company's retreated from gains earlier in the session before closing 0.2 percent in negative territory.
Data released Wednesday showed German businesses slightly less optimistic about the next six months. The Ifo Business Climate Index fell to 109.8 points this month from 111.0 points in December. "Companies expressed greater satisfaction with their current business situation, but are less optimistic about their six-month business outlook. The German economy made a less confident start to the year," the institute said in a statement.
Governor Mark Carney of the Bank of England is due to speak in Germany at a Bundesbank conference. Meanwhile, a member of the European Central Bank, Sabine Lautenschlaeger, said Tuesday that the bank could "soon" start planning tapering its monetary stimulus, Reuters reported.
Oil and gas stocks are also on the radar this Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump signed orders for new oil pipelines in the country. The sector in Europe was up by 0.72 percent.
Brent crude prices were 0.14 percent higher shortly after the European market closed, trading at $55.52 a barrel. While, WTI was also up over 0.21 percent and trading at approximately $53.30 a barrel on Wednesday.