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Europe closes firmly higher; Sanofi plummets

European stocks ended the day firmly in positive territory on Tuesday, regaining some of Monday's losses, as investors reacted to third-quarter earnings and prepared for a key monetary policy decision from the U.S.

The pan-European FTSE 300 provisionally closed 1 percent higher at 1,317.80. The U.K.'s FTSE ended up around 0.7 percent, Germany's DAX closed around 1.9 percent higher and France's CAC was provisionally 0.5 percent higher.

Investors are looking ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve's meeting, which ends on Wednesday, when the central bank is expected to announce the end of its latest round of bond buys, otherwise known as quantitative easing.

It comes after a turbulent day on Monday, when an initial relief rally following bank stress test results was negated by economic concerns about Germany that were boosted by a worse-than-expected Ifo report.

U.S. stocks rise

In the U.S., stocks rose on Tuesday, lifting the Nasdaq Composite into positive territory for the month, as investors considered corporate earnings, a better-than-expected rise in consumer sentiment and an unexpected drop in orders for durable goods.

It comes after Asian equities were mixed on the day, with China's benchmark index outperforming the region following strong data.

Sanofi slides

Back in Europe, third-quarter earnings were in focus, with stock of pharmaceutical giant Sanofi plummeting to close down around 10.4 percent after it forecast its key diabetes business would slow in 2015. It pulled down the healthcare sector, which ended the day around 0.99 percent lower.

Banks were also eyed after U.K.-listed Standard Chartered reported disappointing third-quarter results, and taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group confirmed plans to cut around 9,000 jobs. Shares in the banks fell to close down around 8.9 percent and 2.5 percent respectively. Lloyds reported a rise in underlying profit in the third quarter when compared to a year ago. The bank said it still hoped to pay a dividend in 2014, despite only just scraping through the European "stress" tests.

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Swiss bank UBS managed to avoid the move lower, however, despite warning of "underlying challenges" in its third-quarter results. Its shares gained around 5.7 percent on Tuesday, with investors bullish on the figures more broadly.

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