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Europe closes higher on China, US data

European shares closed higher on Tuesday, with investors buoyed by upbeat Chinese and U.S. economic data, and a sanctions settlement by French bank BNP Paribas.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 Index started the second half of the year higher, closing provisionally up 0.9 percent at 1,382.35 points.

The U.K.'s FTSE 100 closed unofficially up 0.9 percent. The German benchmark Dax finished up 0.6 percent and the French Cac ended 0.8 percent higher.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
Volume
FTSE
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DAX
---
CAC 40
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IBEX 35
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China buoys investors

Earlier in the day, China's official purchasing managers' index (PMI) for June came in at a six-month high of 51, up from 50.8 in May.

The reading helped boost sentiment in Europe, especially in the U.K., where the FTSE 100 includes a high number of mining companies with heavy exposure to China. Miners dominated the list of top FTSE 100 performers on Tuesday, with Rio Tinto also boosted by an analyst upgrade.

Both U.S. and European stocks got a boost when data out later in the day showed manufacturing orders in the U.S. hit a six-month high. A separate report had U.S. construction spending up 0.1 percent in May.

On the downside, manufacturing activity in the euro zone slid to a seven-month low in June, in a further sign that the region's stuttering recovery is losing momentum. The region's final manufacturing PMI for last month, published by Markit on Tuesday, came in at 51.8 in June, below an earlier estimate of 51.9.

Read MoreEuro zone manufacturing activity hits 7-month low

The euro zone's unemployment rate, meanwhile, held steady in May, at 11.6 percent.

BNP pleads guilty

In France, lender BNP Paribas pleaded guilty to two criminal charges relating to allegations that it has violated U.S. sanctions on Monday. It has agreed to pay around $9 billion to resolve the allegations and has been prevented from clearing some transactions in U.S. dollars for one year. Shares of the bank closed up around 4.2 percent on Tuesday.

In other stocks news, shares of the Daily Mail and General Trust ended roughly 1.9 percent higher after an analyst upgrade by Barclays.

Ocado swung to a first-half profit, the U.K. online retailer announced on Tuesday; however shares slipped to end around 4.4 percent lower. Ocado's stock has been one of the highest performing in Europe in recent months.

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