Frankfurt: European shares unofficially closed 1.8% up on Tuesday as Vodafone led the telecom sector higher, while a rebound in U.S. housing data improved market sentiment.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares closed 14.33 points higher at 791.61 after having been down as much as 0.9%. It fell 2.4% in the previous session and had lost 45% last year.
Data showed that pending sales of existing U.S. homes rose in December for the first time since August, boosting markets in the United States and Europe.
“It’s good to see positive news flow from the U.S. housing markets. This is encouraging as markets seem to react again to good news,” said Philippe Gijsels, strategist at Fortis Bank in Brussels.
“Although on the corporate side news are set to remain bad and we’re still in a bear market, this is a glimmer of hope,” Gijsels added.
Telecoms were the biggest sectoral gainers, as Vodafone, the world’s largest mobile phone group by sales, rose 7% after the company hiked its full-year guidance and beat its own third-quarter revenue forecast.
Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom and Telecom Italia were up between 4.2-7.3%.
Across Europe, the FTSE 100 index was up 2.1%, Germany’s DAX was up 2.4% and France’s CAC 40 gained 1.8%.