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European markets close higher; IG Group shares collapse 38%

European bourses closed higher Tuesday as concerns over political instability eased and investors focused on the upcoming meeting of the European Central Bank.

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The pan-European Stoxx 600 was 0.9 percent higher by the close of trade with financial services stocks among the worst performing sectors after the U.K. financial watchdog announced stricter rules.

The Financial Conduct Authority proposed on Tuesday new rules for firms selling CFD (contract for difference) products after 82 percent of clients lost money on such investments. The announcement caused shares of IG Group to plunge and the company ended 38 percent lower.

Meanwhile in the U.S., the Dow Jones industrial average opened was fractionally lower setting record highs in the previous session yet again in a remarkable run since President-elect Donald Trump's victory.

Elections as early as February

Meanwhile, the Italian index recovered on Tuesday to close 4.15 percent higher despite ongoing political and financial concerns.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has agreed to delay his resignation until the country's 2017 budget is approved, easing the risks of early snap elections following the government's defeat in a referendum.

A general election could be triggered as early as February according to Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano, who reportedly told the Corriere della Serra newspaper that he forecast an election to be held as soon as the second month of 2017.

Italy is preparing a state bailout for Monte dei Paschi di Siena as the lender's hopes of being saved by private funding faded following Renzi's decision to quit, according to Reuters sources. Shares of the bank were trading in negative territory for most of the day wiped out all losses to close 1.18 percent higher.

Elsewhere, Actelion shares closed 0.54 percent higher on reports that the French drugmaker Sanofi is preparing a bid for the Swiss company.

Analysts are expecting ECB President Mario Draghi to announce Thursday an extension to the bank's trillion-euro bond-buying scheme, at least by another six months.

In the U.K., the government continues with an appeal against a High Court ruling stating that it needs parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 of the EU and start Brexit negotiations with Europe.

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