In the absence of eye-catching news on the home front, European investors decided to surf the wave of further stimulus announced on Tuesday by Japan's central bank.
The world's third largest economy has been stuck in the doldrums even longer than Europe. The latest effort to improve the situation is to increase purchases of government debt up to the level of 55 trillion yen (£43bn).
Portugal successfully tapped the sovereign debt market for €2bn euros, topping its target of up to €1.75bn, with the issuance of 6 and 18-month Treasury bills. It paid lower yields than Spain for comparable securities.
Portugal, which is under 'Troika' (European Union, International Monetary Fund, and European Central Bank) supervision since receiving a bailout, has issued €709m in 6-month debt and €1.29bn in 18-month debt.
The 6-month yield fell to 1.7% compared to 2.292% in the prior auction although the bid to cover ratio was somewhat lower at 3.1 from 3.8.
The 18-month yield fell to 2.967% from 4.537% on a bid to cover ratio of 2.4 compared to the prior 2.6.
In other economic news, Eurozone construction output fell by 0.3% month-on-month in July.
The most active contract for Brent crude ended the London trading session $3.36 lower at $108.67 a barrel, after the Energy Information Administration said crude inventories rose by 8.5m barrels in the week ended Sept. 14th.
On the companies front, the strongest sector on the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 was automobiles and parts, helped by Porsche rising after winning a court case related to its disclosure in 2008 that it controlled nearly three quarters of VW's stock. The apparent coup by Porsche caused a lot of excitement back in 2008, as VW's shares
rose over 100% in a matter of minutes as investors rushed to buy shares needed to close out short positions.
The weakest sector was insurance with Hannover Re, Ageas and Mapfre all down.
Dutch brewer Heineken is closer to acquiring Fraser & Neave's (F&N) stake of joint venture Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) after winning the support of a key backer of F&N.
Thai billionaire Charoen Sirivadhanabhakdi, a major shareholder in F&N, said that he will support the offer. Heineken has offered $4.6bn dollars for a 40% stake in Asia Pacific Breweries.
Charoen has made his own offer for F&N's other assets, including its non-alcoholic beverage business and property units. Charoen controls ThaiBev, Thailand's largest alcohol company, which is looking to expand in the Asian region. One of Charoen 's companies has a property arm, prompting speculation that he may break up F&N. Heineken has agreed not to make a competing offer for F&N.
Inditex, the Spanish retailing behemoth rose after reporting first half income up 32% at €944m, better than analysts had predicted. The Spanish company's like-for-like sales rose 7% compared to the year-ago period.
Earnings before income tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 29% in the first half-year to €1.62bn. Pre-tax earnings (EBIT) rose 35% to €1.24bn. The gross sales margin rose to 59.6% from 58.4%.
CAC 40 - Risers
Renault (RNO) € 39.94 +2.25%
Air Liquide (AI) € 99.49 +1.94%
Lafarge (LG) € 42.40 +1.84%
Carrefour (CA) € 17.40 +1.81%
Sanofi (SAN) € 68.00 +1.77%
Vivendi (VIV) € 15.50 +1.64%
Michelin (ML) € 62.77 +1.50%
Vinci (DG) € 35.91 +1.33%
Peugeot (UG) € 6.86 +1.25%
Total (FP) € 41.47 +1.15%
CAC 40 - Fallers
ArcelorMittal SA (MT) € 12.45 -2.43%
Schneider Electric (SU) € 48.78 -2.23%
ST Microelectronics (STM) € 4.75 -1.86%
Legrand SA (LR) € 28.49 -1.33%
Technip (TEC) € 87.86 -1.27%
France Telecom (FTE) € 9.93 -0.95%
Accor (AC) € 26.50 -0.77%
Bouygues (EN) € 20.19 -0.74%
Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) € 0.95 -0.52%
Veolia Environnement (VIE) € 9.29 -0.51%
DAX - Risers
Deutsche Telekom € 9.85 +2.30%
Daimler € 40.03 +2.16%
Commerzbank € 1.62 +1.95%
DAX - Fallers
Fresenius Medical Care € 54.38 -0.71%
Infineon Technologies € 5.68 -0.60%
Merck KGaA € 93.49 -0.42%