European stocks climbed on Wednesday and the euro steadied, as traders awaited fresh US data and digested overnight Wall Street gains amid hopes of new stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve.In early afternoon trade, London's FTSE 100 index of leading shares advanced 0.97 percent to 5,320.09 points, Frankfurt's DAX 30 index rose 1.25 percent to 5,714.43 points and in Paris the CAC 40 gained 1.59 percent to 3,209.96.In the foreign exchange market, the European single currency firmed to $1.4439, from $1.4437 late in New York on Tuesday.Later on Wednesday, traders were to hear the US ADP employment report which could give an early indication of this Friday's crucial non-farm payrolls figures."Today the focus is likely to fall on the US ADP employment report. Normally, the ADP provides a reasonable guide to movements in the final official payrolls number," said analysts at Davy Stockbrokers in Dublin.
Asian markets were mostly up Wednesday, extending a recent rally on renewed hopes for a fresh round of US monetary easing despite weak consumer confidence data in the United States and Europe.Sydney rose 0.56 percent and Hong Kong jumped 1.64 percent, and Seoul climbed 1.97 percent, while Tokyo ended flat.Wall Street eked out a third day of gains, recouping early losses after minutes from the US Federal Reserve's latest policy-making meeting indicated that the Fed could move to stimulate the US economy.
The Dow climbed 0.18 percent, the S&P 500 edged 0.23 percent higher and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.55 percent.
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes from their August 9 meeting, released on Tuesday, showed some officials raised "QE3" as a possibility.
In the previous "QE" quantitative easing programmes since the global financial crisis, the Federal Reserve injected money into the economy via Treasury bond purchases. The move helped weaken the dollar against other major currencies."It is the FOMC minutes last night and the tentative optimism of investors in Europe that is helping to push European stocks into positive territory for a third straight session, with much of the gains coming from the mining sector," said City Index analyst Giles Watts on Wednesday.
Expectations of some sort of stimulus have been building since last week when Fed chief Ben Bernanke said Friday the central bank would not immediately begin monetary easing but would keep the door open for such a move when needed.
European stock markets had mixed fortunes on Tuesday, with Frankfurt and Paris hit by news of slumping US and eurozone consumer confidence, but London rallied sharply as investors played catch-up after a three-day weekend.