In Germany, the DAX index gained 48.35 points, or 1.68%, to 2,934.43. The market had been restrained by news that German industrial output fell more than expected 1.1% in March. BMW shares rose after Morgan Stanley raised earnings estimates for the automaker.
Canada's benchmark S&P/TSX rose 29.26 points, or 0.44%, to 6,650.03.
Asian markets finished higher. In Japan, the Nikkei index gained 120.61 points, or 1.50%, to close at 8,152.16. The market was lifted partly because the U.S. dollar recovered against the yen from the previous day's level. Also, Prime Minister Koizumi announced that he would hold a meeting with economic-policy-related ministers sometime next week.