Stock indices traded higher ahead of the Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee later in the day. Market participants will closely monitor her speech for hints regarding further interest rate hikes. They speculate that it is unlikely that the Fed will raise its interest rate at its March monetary policy meeting.
A rise in oil prices also supported stock markets.
Meanwhile, the economic data from Eurozone was weak. The French statistical office Insee its industrial production figures on Wednesday. Industrial production in France declined 1.6% in December, missing expectations for a 0.2% increase, after a 0.9% fall in November. It was the biggest drop since May 2014.
Manufacturing output decreased 0.8% in December, while construction output slid 1.6%.
On a yearly basis, the French industrial production climbed 2.0% in December, after a 2.8% gain in November.
The Italian statistical office Istat released its industrial production data on Wednesday. Industrial production in Italy fell at a seasonally-adjusted rate of 0.7% in December, after a 0.5% decline in November.
On a yearly basis, industrial production in Italy slid at a seasonally-adjusted rate of 1.0% in December, after a 1.1% increase in November. November's figure was revised up from a 0.9% gain.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) released its manufacturing industrial production figures for the U.K. on Wednesday. Manufacturing production in the U.K. fell 0.2% in December, missing expectations for a 0.1% gain, after a 0.3% decrease in November.
Manufacturing output was mainly driven by a drop in the manufacture of wood, paper products and printing, which plunged by 2.1% in December.
On a yearly basis, manufacturing production in the U.K. decreased 1.7% in December, missing forecast of a 1.4% fall, after a 1.2% drop in November.
Industrial production in the U.K. slid 1.1% in December, missing forecasts of a 0.1% fall, after a 0.8% rise in November. It was the biggest monthly drop since 2012.
The decline was driven by falls in mining, oil and gas extraction and manufacturing.
On a yearly basis, industrial production in the U.K. decreased 0.4% in December, missing expectations for a 1.0% rise, after a 0.7% increase in November.
Name Price Change Change %
FTSE 100 5,699.54 67.35 1.20 %
DAX 9,084.09 204.69 2.31 %
CAC 40 4,090.41 92.87 2.32 %