- Ukraine, Russia work to resolve crisis
- ECB QE speculation grows ahead of meeting
- Eurozone retail sales ease
- Eurozone PMIs revised lower
FTSE 100: 0.79%
CAC 40: 1.15%
FTSE MIB: 1.66%
IBEX 35: 1.13%
Stoxx 600: 0.76%
European stocks gained as Moscow and Kiev agreed on steps to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said the two countries have "reached mutual understanding on the steps that will facilitate the establishment of peace".
In a statement on his official website, Poroshenko said he had held discussions over the phone with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian officials denied reports that Russia had agreed to a permanent ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, although they discussed measures to resolve the fighting, according to RIA Novosti.
Stocks with exposure to Russia rallied amid reports of cease-fire discussions. Nokian Renkaat Oyj, Raiffeisen Bank International AG and Carlsberg A/S were higher.
Also providing a boost to stocks was speculation that European Central Bank (ECB) will introduce further stimulus measures at its Thursday meeting.
ECB President Mario Draghi has hinted at the possibility of full-on quantitative easing to address weak inflation and a stagnant recovery.
Ahead of the meeting, a report on Eurozone retail sales showed a year-on-year 0.8% rise in July, easing back from June's 1.9%. Analysts had predicted a 0.9% gain.
A final reading on the Eurozone purchasing managers' index (PMI) composite was released by Markit. The composite, which gauges services and manufacturing activity, was revised lower to 52.5 in August from an initial 52.8. Eurozone services PMI was also revised down to 53.1 from 53.5. Analysts had expected the data to remain unchanged. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
Before the opening bell other figures revealed that China's composite PMI rose to 52.8 in August from 50.5 a month earlier. Separately the non-manufacturing PMI increased to 54.4 in August from 54.2 in July.
Japan's composite PMI, on the other hand, fell to 49.9 in August from 50.4 the prior month, signalling a contraction. Services PMI rose to 50.8 in August from 50.2 in July.
Danone advanced as the yogurt maker appointed Emmanuel Faber as chief executive.
ING Groep NV edged higher as the Dutch financial-services company said it will sell $1.18bn in shares.
Ashtead Group jumped after saying full-year results will be higher than previously forecast.
The euro rose 0.17% to $1.3155.
Brent crude futures rose 1.08% to $101.44 per barrel, according to the ICE.