European markets opened higher on 14 November, and continued trading higher, as investors cheered US Federal Reserve Vice Chair Janet Yellen's monetary stimulus comments, ahead of the release of Eurozone-wide GDP data.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index opened 0.5% higher to 321.51.

Britain's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX opened 0.9% higher.

France's CAC 40 opened 1.1% higher.

Spain's IBEX 35 was trading 0.87% higher after opening higher.

Italy's FTSE MIB was trading 0.51% higher after opening higher.

Britain will put out retail sales data for the month of October at 9:30 hrs GMT.

The Eurozone's statistics office will release third-quarter growth data at 10:00 hrs GMT.

Analysts polled by Reuters forecast that the 17-nation bloc would report 0.2% growth for the July-September quarter, slightly slower that the preceding quarter's 0.3% economic expansion.

Meanwhile, data from Germany showed that Europe's strongest economy expanded by 0.3% in the third-quarter of 2013, in line with market consensus, but slower than the preceding quarter's 0.7% growth rate. On an annual basis, the German economy expanded by 1.1%.

Elsewhere, data from France showed that Europe's second largest economy shrank by 0.1% in the three months to September. The news comes just a week after ratings agency S&P downgraded France's credit rating.

In company news, British supermarket chain Asda, French media firm Vivendi, Air Berlin and the world's oldest bank Monte Paschi will release their earnings updates during the day.

German drug maker Merck and aerospace and defence major EADS have released their earnings reports.

British luxury goods maker Burberry met expectations for flat first-half profit on a 17% increase in total revenue to £1.03bn.

Earlier, in the US, defending the central bank's $85bn-a-month bond purchase program, Yellen said: "I believe that supporting the recovery today is the surest path to returning to a more normal approach to monetary policy."

Yellen's comments came in her prepared statement to the Senate Banking Committee, which the committee released ahead of her testimony to the Senate later on 14 October.

Yellen would be the first woman to head the world's most powerful central bank if the Senate confirms her nomination.

In Asian and the US

The Japanese Nikkei finished 2.12% higher on 14 November. Australia's S&P/ASX finished 0.68%, the Shanghai Composite finished 0.60% higher, while South Korea's Kospi finished 0.20% higher.

Japanese equities led Asian markets higher after third-quarter GDP data from Japan beat expectations.

Meanwhile, markets elsewhere in the region logged gains on Yellen's remarks.

On Wall Street, indices ended higher with the Dow and the S&P 500 finishing at record highs.

US investors cheered upbeat results from retailing major Macy's and they now expect a good holiday-shopping season.

The Dow finished 70.96 points higher or 0.5% at 15,821.63.

The S&P 500closed 14.31 points higher or 0.8% at 1,782.

The Nasdaq ended 45.66 points higher or 1.2% at 3,965.58.

"The Macy's number is driving the market. Their earnings number coming out is supportive as there is a lot riding on the holiday season," Chris Gaffney, EverBank senior market strategist told CNBC.