European Markets End with Solid Gains

Stocks in Asia and Canada also advanced on rising optimism in the U.S.

Canada's benchmark TSE 300 index posted solid gains in Thursday's session, adding 98.01 points, or 1.30%, to 7,650.60. Investors brushed aside potentially bearish news and chose instead to take an optimistic outlook. S&P notes that strong seasonal factors favor stocks at this time of the year.

European markets finished higher on optimism from a strong performance by U.S. stocks over the extended holiday and strength in oil and petroleum stocks. In London, the Financial Times-Stock Exchange 100 finished up 35.80 points, or 0.69%, to 5,213.20. In Germany, the DAX index added 98.12 points, or 1.95%, to 5,117.13. France's CAC 40 index ended higher by 89.06 points, or 1.98%, to 4,591.16.

In Asia, stocks rallied, with help from better-than-expected retail sales announced in the U.S. Wednesday. The falling value of the yen against the dollar also drew buyers. Japan's Nikkei 225 index soared 265.04 points, or 2.60%, to 10,457.61. In Hong Kong, markets rose 149.72 points, or 1.34%, to 11,359.50.

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