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European stocks higher, debt worries linger; DAX up 0.68%

Stock MarketsApr 24, 2012 04:02AM ET
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This article has already been saved in your Saved Items - European stock markets were higher on Tuesday, as investors awaited the release of U.S. economic data later in the day, while concerns over the handling of the debt crisis in the euro zone continued to linger.

During European morning trade, the EURO STOXX 50 jumped 0.79%, France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.84%, while Germany’s DAX 30 rose 0.68%.

Market sentiment was hit on Monday after data showed that the euro zone's manufacturing output slumped to its lowest level since June 2009 this month, while its services sector fell to a five month low.

Concerns also mounted after a Sunday vote in France opened up the presidential race, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Monday tendered his government's resignation in a crisis over budget cuts, creating a political vacuum in one of the region’s most stable nations.

Financial stocks were broadly higher, led by Italian lender Unicredit, up 2.22%, and Spain’s BBVA, whose shares climbed 1.80%.

France’s BNP Paribas and Societe Generale also rose 1.13% and 1.47%, while German lenders Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank jumped 1.21% and 1.49%.

Meanwhile, Nordea Bank surged 3.57% after saying first-quarter profit rose 4.5% as loan losses receded and it made more money from its lending business. Net income grew to EUR773 million from EUR740 million euros a year earlier.

Elsewhere, TeliaSonera, the biggest Swedish phone company, soared 6.69% after saying it expects to receive about SEK22 billion in dividends and proceeds from the sale of an indirect 8.2% stake in MegaFon to Alisher Usmanov’s AF Telecom.

In London, FTSE 100 rose 0.49%, as U.K. lenders tracked their European counterparts higher.

Shares in Barclays climbed 2.10% and Lloyds Banking advanced 1.07%, while HSBC Holdings added 0.32%.

However, shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland edged 0.04% lower, after TSYS announced on Monday that it finalized a long-term agreement with the U.K. lender to continue payment processing and related services for its UK, Irish and US consumer credit and commercial businesses.

Mining giants Rio Tinto and Bhp Billiton contributed to gains, with shares rising 0.53% and 0.17%, while copper producers Xstrata and Kazakhmys advanced 0.22% and 1.06% respectively.

Meanwhile, Cove Energy surged 3.80% after agreeing to be bought by Royal Dutch Shell as Europe’s largest oil company raised its bid to GBP1.12 billion.

In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to rise of 0.25%, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.29% increase, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.35% gain.

Later in the day, the euro zone was to produce official data on industrial new orders, followed by a report on the business climate in Belgium.

In the U.S., a report was to be released on house price inflation, as well as a Conference Board report on consumer confidence and government data on new home sales.

European stocks higher, debt worries linger; DAX up 0.68%

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