European stocks rose, extending their highest level in more than five weeks, as companies from Vodafone Group Plc to Henkel AG rallied on better-than-estimated financial results and improving forecasts.

Vodafone advanced the most in 14 months after saying services revenue fell slower than analysts estimated. That pushed a gauge of telecommunications companies to the highest level since March 2008. Henkel gained 4.6 percent after also raising its full-year margin projection.

The benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Index climbed 0.4 percent to 338.93 at the close of trading, after briefly paring gains as the U.S. equity markets opened. The measure has rebounded 9.3 percent from this years low on Oct. 16 as the Bank of Japan unexpectedly boosted its stimulus and most lenders in Europe passed tests of their capital strength.

Earnings have driven investor sentiment yesterday and today in the absence of major economic reports. Analysts expect earnings of the gauges companies to grow 7.5 percent this year, up from their October projection of 7.2 percent.

Source : Bloomberg