European shares closed slightly higher on Tuesday, as the U.K.'s FTSE Index rose after being closed for a public holiday and other bourses took a breather from their rally on Monday.
Ukraine boosts stocks
The pan-European Euro Stoxx 600 Index provisionally closed up 0.2 percent at 1,378.79 points.
Investors had been reacting to the latest round of elections that took place at the weekend. Shares were boosted after Ukrainian elections showed a promising majority for President-elect Petro Poroshenko.
The German DAX index closed up unofficially 0.5 percent on Tuesday, having hit an all-time high Monday.
Italian stocks failed to repeat the strong surge seen Monday after European Union election results highlighted strong support for the new coalition headed by center-left Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The FTSE MIB closed down around 0.4 percent.
"The weekend vote in the Ukraine appears to have been one major catalyst for yesterday's strong European session, with the new Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko making conciliatory noises towards Russia, as well as the European Union in an attempt to bring together the various factions in an attempt to de-escalate recent tensions," Michael Hewson, the chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a note.
Bourses have also been boosted by expectations for a rate cut from the European Central Bank (ECB). ECB president Mario Draghi said in a speech on Monday that the central bank must be prepared to take action if risks posed by low inflation emerge.
On the data front, a French consumer confidence index for May showed continued stagnation. The index, released by statistics INSEE, remained at 85 this month, well below a long-term average of 100. However, France's CAC 40 Index closed up Tuesday around 0.1 percent.
Aveva shares surge
In stocks news, Aveva shares closed up around 9 percent after the British software developer reported full-year profit had jumped by 11 percent.
Lloyds shares closed up around 1 percent after the U.K. bank announced its plans to float about 25 percent of its TSB business on the London Stock Exchange.
Shares of the Intercontinental Hotels Group closed up around 3 percent after the U.K. media reported over the weekend that there was interest in the London-listed company.
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