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Market Update

European Markets Extend Gains

European markets were trading higher for a second session on Wednesday as upbeat German data boosted investor confidence. Investors were also relieved that the People's Bank of China would step in to relieve liquidity conditions.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.5% at 9:11 a.m. in London. The CAC 40 Paris gained 0.9% while the DAX Franfurt rose 1%.

Data released earlier in the day showed the Gfk German consumer climate index climbed to a more-than-expected 6.8 this month, from 6.5 in the previous month.

Germany's consumer sentiment has hit its highest level in almost six years, as robust labor market and rising wages boost households' income prospects and their economic outlook, Gfk's survey report said.

Meanwhile, concerns about a credit crunch in China eased after the nation's central bank on Tuesday pledged to provide liquidity to the financial institutions.

Stocks on the Move

Financial stocks were among  the top gainers in today's trade. French lender Societe Generale SA rose 2.6% while Credit Agricole SA gained 2.1%.

Deutsche Bank AG added 1.6% in Germany. but Commerzbank AG dropped 3.3%.

London-listed firms Lloyds Baning Group and Barclays Plc. were up 1.5% each. Mobile banking services provider Monitise plc. bounced 2.2% after joining hands with Lloyds Bank to develop mobile card acceptance solutions for small businesses.

Insurance company Direct Line Insurer vaulted 5.3% after it announced job cuts to improve operational efficiency. 

Among resources, French oil and gas company Total SA was up 0.7% after it increased its stake in Russian gas producer OAO Novatek.

Other oil firms were also trading modestly higher -- BP Plc. gained 0.7% while Royal Dutch Shell Plc. inched up 0.3% in London.

Miners, however, were trading cautiously. The new CEO of Anglo American Plc. said a cash crunch in China could hurt commodities demand at a time when mining companies are grappling with high costs and low prices. Shares of the miner were down 1.5% at the time of writing.

Rio Tinto Plc. eased 0.3% while BHP Billiton was just marginally higher -- up 0.2%.

Glencore Xstrata dropped 1.8% after the miner expressed concerns about the problems confronting the global mining industry, and that it is making companies nervous about investing in new projects.