Europe Closes Higher; DAX Hits Record

European shares closed higher following some better-than-expected earnings reports, and upbeat manufacturing data from German.


The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index closed unofficially 0.2 percent higher at 1,219.94 points. Bank stocks led gains and the German DAX at a new record all-time high.

Shares in HSBC, Commerzbank and insurer Allianz closed up after posting better-than-expected first quarter earnings, while Societe Generale got a boost when it announced a 900 million euro ($1.2 billion) cost-cutting plan.

(Read More: Why HSBC's Results Are Not as Good as They Seem)

In economic data releases, France industrial output showed a -0.9 percent month-on-month fall for March, topping a Reuters estimate of a 0.3 contraction. German industrial orders came in at 2.2 percent, better than estimates for a 0.5 percent contraction.

Meanwhile, European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi said late on Monday that he is ready to take further action, if needed, to address economic weakness.

"We stand ready to act again," Draghi said.

The rally in Europe mimicked similar upturns in Asia and the U.S., with the S&P 500 also hitting a new record high.

"The market is still exhibiting good karma from last week's U.S. employment report," said Cam Albright, director of asset allocation at Wilmington Trust Investment Advisors.

"Some of the news that's coming out of Europe has been a bit more positive as well – the German factory orders report was helpful."