Frankfurt's DAX Index rose 36.73 to 4962.86. Investors shrugged off a report that German ZEW economic sentiment plunged to 38.6 in September from 50.0 in August. 23 DAX stocks rose and 7 fell on turnover of 109,314,956 shares. BMW rose as the company was planning to repurchase up to 3% of its outstanding shares. DaimlerChrysler rose after the company's Chrysler unit and the Canadian Auto Workers union reached a new 3-year labor agreement. Deutsche Post rose after Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein raised its recommendation to "add" from "hold". OHB Technology rose on a published report it and Thales might set up a venture to bid for BAE Systems' Atlas Elektronik GmbH unit. Hypo Real Estate Group rose amid speculation the company may be a takeover target.
In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 index fell 13.30 to 5416.40. News hit that U.K. house prices fell at their slowest pace in 11 months in August as mortgage lending rose. Investors shrugged off a report that Britain had a budget deficit of 4.76 billion pounds last month, the smallest August shortfall in three years. 62 FTSE stocks fell and 35 rose on turnover of 1,829,000,000 shares. The sterling was up at $1.8036. Cairn Energy rose on higher first half earnings. Sainsbury and William Morrison fell. Psion rose on higher first half sales and profits. Punch Graphix rose after the company said it expects full-year results to beat analysts' estimates.
France's CAC 40 rose 26.12 to 4531.80 as oil prices fell. 29 CAC stocks rose and 11 fell on turnover of 106,255,252 shares. Danone rose on persistent takeover rumors. Areva rose after agreeing to sell its FCI connectors unit to Bain Capital. Bouygues rose after JPMorgan Chase raised its forecast for company shares 13%. Lindedata rose on higher first half earnings.
The Nikkei 225 jumped 189.89 points (1.47%) to 13,148.57. Stocks in Tokyo extended a recent uptrend on the back of optimism toward economic growth and support for the reform-minded Prime Minister Koizumi. Upside was also driving demand from abroad, as foreign investors sought higher returns outside the U.S. Europe has fared better but underperformed Japan and South Korea.
In Seoul, the KOSPI index reached an all-time high, climbing 16.80 points (1.43%) to 1190.93. Market sentiment was boosted by North Korea's promise to give up its nuclear weapons program.