Germany's benchmark DAX gained 41.68 points, or 0.59%, to close at 4130.81, helped by earnings news from such luminaries as Deutsche Telekom, BASF, Lufthansa and E.ON. Deutsche Telekom was the focus after reporting better-than-expected numbers. The group raised guidance but investors were concentrating on margins in its German T-Mobile division, which some investors had speculated would come in below guidance. Siemens' numbers were not as bad as many investors had feared although the stock was down 0.41%. The group blamed a fourth-quarter loss at its mobile phone unit for the result. MAN AG gained 1.15%, after its numbers came in in-line, with the stock higher after the group upped guidance.
In France, the CAC-40 gained 48.88 points, or 1.29%, to close at 3833.79. The CAC40 closed at a multi-year-high, but was off the intra-day peak as Wall Street traded higher on sliding oil prices. Trading in Paris was subdued as many domestic players were off for a public holiday. Total was 1.27% higher, as analysts were mostly positive following yesterday's robust third-quarter performance. SocGen benefited from fairly healthy third-quarter net profit figures, thanks to a write-back of provisions in CIB. However, the French banking retail business remains a poor performer. AXA rose 2.13% on upbeat broker comments post third-quarter numbers. Alcatel was lifted 2.17% by an S&P Ratings upgrade of its long-term corporate credit and senior unsecured debt ratings to 'BB' from 'BB-'. Atos Origin suffered as it reported in-line third-quarter revenues but working capital disappointed. Results aside, EADS surged 5.69% on the back of talk of a new $2 billion order from Indian Airlines. Sanofi-Aventis benefited as the the WHO prepares a plan to vaccinate the world's population against a bird flu pandemic.
Asian markets ended mostly lower on Thursday, with Japan's Nikkei average sinking 1.35% on poor machinery orders data. The Japanese benchmark lost 148.04 points, to close at 10,846.92. Japanese stocks slid after core machinery orders fell 1.9% month-over-month in September, which was worse than analysts' expectations. Banks and exporters fell on the news, with Mizuho Trust skidding 0.56% while Toyota Motor edged down 0.49%. Tokyo Electron dropped 2.52% after the company cut its half-year net profit estimate because of higher taxes, but maintained its full-year forecasts.
In Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index lost 47.86 points, or 0.35%, to close at 13,624.51. Fashion retailer Esprit plummeted on news its chairman was selling 97.27 million existing shares at a discount of between 2.9% to 6.03% to yesterday's closing price.
Canada's benchmark TSX/S&P gained 44.50 points, or 0.50%, to close at 8,886.17.