Investing.com - European stock markets turned sharply higher on Wednesday, as investors awaited developments from a European summit hoped to result in a viable solution to the region's worsening debt crisis.
During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 surged 1.30%, France’s CAC 40 jumped 1.48%, while Germany’s DAX 30 soared 1.46%.
Market sentiment strengthened after German members of parliament voted in favor of a plan to enhance the firepower of the euro zone's bailout fund, ahead of a key summit in Brussels on the region's debt crisis.
Expectations that EU leaders would make progress on a plan to contain the debt crisis were dampened earlier, after a meeting of euro zone finance ministers was unexpectedly cancelled.
Automobiles were Wednesday's leading sector, with French carmaker Renault surging 3.06% while Germany's BMW and Daimler jumped 2.01% and 1.85% respectively.
Peugeot saw shares rise 1.90%, although the French automaker said it may cut as many as 5,000 jobs in Europe in response to weakening demand.
Meanwhile, European lenders turned broadly higher as France's Societe General soared 3.86% and BNP Paribas rose 0.59%, while German Deutsche Bank jumped 1.82%.
Elsewhere, German drugmaker Merck KGaA skyrocketed 8.24%, posting the company's biggest gain since March 2009 after reporting higher-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
In London, FTSE 100 advanced 0.90% as trade remained volatile ahead of the highly anticipated European summit.
U.K. lenders remained mixed, with HSBC Holdings rising 0.63% and Barclays climbing 0.64%, while Lloyds Banking plummeted 1.72%
The energy sector contributed to gains, as British Petroleum saw shares edge up 0.27%, while mining companies Fresnillo and Antofagasta surged 3.06% and 2.30% respectively.
Copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys were also higher, with shares rising 0.05% and 1.58% respectively.
Elsewhere, U.S. equity markets pointed to a sharply higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a rise of 1.17%, S&P 500 futures signaled a 1.18% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 1.03% jump.
Earlier Wednesday, U.S. government data showed that orders for long lasting
manufactured goods fell more-than-expected in September, declining for the second successive month, while core orders rose more-than-expected.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release official data on new home sales and crude oil stockpiles.