By  on October 30, 2013

LONDON — European stock markets made modest gains in mid-morning trading on Wednesday, with the FTSE MIB in Milan leading the way.

The Italian market was up 1.1 percent to 19,465.64, followed by the CAC 40 in Paris, 0.7 percent to 4,307.53, and the FTSE 100 in London, 0.6 percent to 6,817.77. The DAX in Frankfurt advanced 0.4 percent to 9,061.69.

The euro traded at $1.38, while the pound fetched $1.61, and the Swiss franc equaled $1.11 at 11:00 a.m. CET.

Retail and luxury stocks were mostly on the upswing, with the morning’s biggest gainers including Next, which advanced 5.2 percent to 54.85 pounds on the back of a 4.3 percent uptick in third-quarter sales. In a brief trading statement issued Wednesday, the British fashion retailer also raised its year-end pre-tax profit growth range estimate to 15-21 percent from 12-19 percent.

Marks & Spencer climbed 4.5 percent to 4.96 pounds, while Luxottica Group was up 2.2 percent to 39.53 euros, after reporting that net profit in the third quarter grew by 7.9 percent.

Among the stocks that lost ground on Wednesday morning were French Connection, 1.1 percent to 0.41 pounds; Mulberry Group, 2.8 percent to 10.04 pounds; and Aeffe, 1.2 percent to 0.64 euros.

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