European stocks accelerated gains near the end of Tuesday's session to close higher, as investors cheered on the rally in commodity prices, amid a mixed set of earnings reports.
Mining stocks gain
The pan-European STOXX 600 experienced a choppy session, before closing up some 0.5 percent provisionally, with sectors finishing in positive territory.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued its latest World Economic Outlook report on Tuesday, with the organization announcing that it had downgraded its world economic growth forecast again. The IMF said it now saw the global economy growing by only 3.2 percent in 2016— 0.2 percentage points down from its January forecast.
Commodities provided a boost to European markets on Tuesday, with basic resources being crowned Europe's best performing sector, finishing up over 3 percent as an uptick in metal prices and a weak U.S. dollar boosted individual stocks.
Anglo American surged to the top of benchmarks, closing 9.2 percent higher, following positive diamond sales from its De Beers unit, while steel giant Arcelormittal jumped 3 percent after Goldman Sachs raised its price target for the stock.
Oil in focus
Staying in the commodities space, oil prices were being monitored by investors ahead of a closely-watched April 17 meeting between OPEC and non-OPEC producers on whether to freeze current output levels.
Oil markets jumped near the end of Europe's trading session, following a report that Russia and Saudi Arabia had agreed to follow through with a production freeze, even if Iran chose not to participate in plans to fix the global supply glut. Brent and U.S. Crude both soared over 3 percent on the news, trading around $44.39 and $41.66 respectively, around Europe's close.
LVMH closes up 1.5%
Meanwhile, earnings season in Europe kicked off this week, with companies delivering a mixed bag to the markets.
Luxury fashion house LVMH reported first-quarter revenue growth of 4 percent year-on-year, but revenues in its key fashion division fell flat. LVMH cited weak tourist shopping in key markets like France, sending shares sharply lower in morning trade. However, shares of the brand reversed losses to close up 1.5 percent.
Elsewhere, British online fashion retailer ASOS posted an 18 percent rise in profit before tax year-on-year in the six months to February 29, sending shares soaring, closing up almost 9 percent. And Swiss fragrance maker Givaudan finished close to 3 percent higher, after it said sales in the first three months of the year rose 5.8 percent year-on-year.
Several Italian banks were posting solid gains during Tuesday's morning session after leading financial institutions in the country agreed to set up a 5 billion euro ($5.7 billion) state-backed fund to help tackle bad bank loans on Monday evening, according to Reuters.
Despite the positive news, investors expressed concerns over the plan on Tuesday, with shares of several Italian banks reversing gains to end trade lower on Tuesday, with Banco Popolare and Unicredit both closing in the red. BMPS however ended higher.