The Stoxx 600 added 2.2 percent to 210.93 at 12:34 p.m. in London as 15 of the 19 industry groups increased. The index has gained 2.8 percent this week, its first advance in five weeks.
National benchmark indexes gained in all 18 western European markets except Austria, Greece and Iceland. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 2.4 percent, and France's CAC 40 rose 2.3 percent. Germany's DAX increased 3.1 percent.
U.S. stock futures fell, indicating the Standard & Poor's 500 Index may trim its biggest weekly gain since 2003, on speculation reports on consumer confidence and housing will add to evidence the economy is in a recession.
Japanese stocks rebounded from their worst plunge in two decades as the deepening financial crisis prompted investors to buy companies whose earnings are insulated from a slowdown in overseas markets. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 235.37, or 2.8 percent, to close at 8,693.82 in Tokyo.
Australian stocks fell as mining companies fell. The S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 42.60 points, or 1.1 percent, to 3,970.80 at the close in Sydney.
Indian stocks fell, with the benchmark Sensitive Index declining to its lowest in more than two years on speculation that overseas funds faced with redemptions are selling the nation's equities. The Bombay Stock Exchange's Sensitive Index, or Sensex, fell 606.14, or 5.7 percent, to 9,975.35, its lowest since June 20, 2006.
China's stocks rose for the first time in four days after the regulator said it would take measures to stabilize the country's financial markets. The CSI 300 Index, which tracks yuan-denominated A shares listed on China's two exchanges, rose 12.36, or 0.7 percent, to 1,833.26 at the close, snapping a three-day, 8.3 percent retreat.
Russian stocks fell after Finance Alexei Kudrin predicted further declines for the country's equities market because of the global credit crisis. he ruble-denominated Micex Index sank 5.5 percent to 592.23 at 1:44 p.m. in Moscow after earlier advancing as much as 6.4 percent.