Europe Markets

Europe finishes mostly higher after strong economic data; Nokia jumps 6.4%

The real test for Trump is in Europe: Expert
The real test for Trump is in Europe: Expert

European bourses closed mostly in positive territory on Tuesday, on the back of a solid set of economic data for the euro zone.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 finished the session up 0.22 percent, with most sectors closing in the black. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 failed to hold onto gains, ending 0.15 percent down, while Germany's DAX popped 0.31 percent.

This positive sentiment in Europe followed economic data showing the euro zone keeping up a strong growth rate. The May flash composite PMI stood at 56.8, matching the six-year high registered in the previous month.

In particular, the French private sector rose to a six-year high in May supported by the election of President Emmanuel Macron. This boosted the French CAC 40, which closed up 0.47 percent, and banking shares, which closed up 0.79 percent as a sector.

However, the technological sector topped the leader board on Tuesday, after Nokia and Apple reached an agreement over their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year license. Nokia was crowned the STOXX 600's best performer, ending 6.43 percent higher.

Looking at individual stocks, French media firm Vivendi jumped 1.81 percent following a Wall Street Journal report, which stated that the company could float a minority stake in Universal Music Group.

On the other hand, the Swiss firm Clariant dropped 2.55 percent on Tuesday as shares took a breather after strong gains seen on Monday. This followed news that it would merge with Huntsman Corp creating a chemical giant worth around $14 billion.

British retailer Marks and Spencer finished almost 2 percent down after a survey from the Confederation of British Industry said retail sales growth faded away in May as inflation rises.

Elsewhere, easyJet jumped 2.5 percent after RBC raised its target price on the stock and upgraded it to "sector perform", while Deutsche Bank cut its price target on Petrofac, which saw the oilfield services provider shares fall 2.16 percent.

Manchester attack 

At least 22 people have died and several have been injured after a blast at an Ariana Grande concert in the north of the U.K.

The terrorist attack weighed on the U.K. on Tuesday and led Prime Minister Teresa May to suspend her election campaign ahead of the June 8 election. Travel and leisure was one of the few sectors to end in the red.

Meanwhile, finance ministers of the euro zone failed to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund over debt relief for Greece. Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who chaired the meeting Monday, said that an agreement is close and that they will return to it at their next scheduled meeting.

Elsewhere, oil prices fluctuated between gains and losses on Tuesday ahead of an OPEC meeting this week, as President Donald Trump's plan to sell off half the U.S.' huge oil stockpile weighed on sentiment.

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