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Europe ends higher on strong data; Amlin soars 33%

European equities closed more than 1 percent higher on Tuesday, buoyed by positive data out of Europe, while shaking off weak numbers from China that caused volatility in Asian markets.

The pan-European STOXX 600 pared earlier gains, but finished the day up 1.2 percent. London's FTSE 100 and the French CAC ended around 1.2 percent higher.

The German DAX closed 1.6 percent up, with the index outperforming after trade surplus data from the euro zone's largest economy suggested strong demand for German goods. Both exports and imports in Germany hit a record high in July.

In addition, official statistics from the European Commission showed that the euro zone economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter, expanding by 1.5 percent year-on-year, versus the previous estimate of 1.2 percent.

European markets were undeterred by lackluster data from China overnight that fueled more worries over global growth. China's trade picture remained grim in August, with dollar-denominated exports declining by 5.5 percent year-on-year.

The benchmark Chinese Shanghai Composite closed up 2.9 percent, however, helping drive European markets.

Meanwhile, U.S. stocks traded sharply higher on Tuesday, trying for recovery after the long weekend and their second-worst week for the year.

Strong stock markets help drive brent crude oil as much as 4 percent higher, but U.S. crude prices remained subdued.

Symbol
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Price
 
Change
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FTSE
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DAX
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CAC
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IBEX 35
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In individual stock news, shares of U.K. insurer Amlin surged 33 percent on the news that Japan's MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings had agreed to buy it for £3.47 billion ($5.34 billion).

The deal boosted the stock price of other names in the insurance sector including Lancashire, which closed up around 4.9 percent and Beazley, which ended around 3.6 percent higher.

Near the market close, shares in K+S spiked 7 percent on media reports that Potash Corp was considering a hostile bid for the German company.

Another top performer was Commerzbank, which ended 6.8 percent higher after JPMorgan raised the rating on the stock to "overweight". from "neutral."

The autos and basic resources sectors, both which are closely tied to the Chinese economy, shrugged off the weak data out of Asia.

Germany's BMW and France's Valeo closed up 3.8 and 4.5 percent respectively. Miners Anglo American and Glencore also finished sharply higher.

After the close of trade, Heineken announced it was buying a 50 percent stake in U.S. craft beer maker, Lagunitas.