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European stocks close higher ahead of Fed, ECB meetings; Gemalto up 34%

  • The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed more than 0.6 percent higher, with most major indexes and sectors in positive territory
  • Tech stocks were the top performers, up more than 1.6 percent
  • Oil was the second biggest sector Tuesday, up more than 1.5 percent

European stocks closed higher Tuesday, as investors monitored upcoming policy meetings from the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank (ECB).

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed more than 0.6 percent higher, with most major indexes and sectors in positive territory.

Symbol
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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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Tech stocks were the top performers, up more than 1.6 percent. Digital security firm Gemalto led the gains in both the sector and the pan-European benchmark, after French consulting firm Atos offered to buy it for 4.3 billion euros ($5.06 billion) on Monday. The world's largest maker of chips found in mobile phones and credit cards had been under pressure over the last 12 months after posting four profit warnings. Its shares were more than 34 percent higher Tuesday.

Oil was the second biggest sector Tuesday, up more than 1.5 percent, following the closure of the U.K.'s Forties pipeline system due to the discovery of several cracks. Statoil led the oil sector, after shutting down production at its Troll A gas platform in the North Sea. Shares of the firm were 3.14 percent higher. Shares of Lundin Petroleum were also trading higher, after the firm said it expected full production to resume at the Edvard Grieg oil field "within a few days." Lundin's stock price was up almost 2 percent.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped, boosted by gains in Boeing and Verizon.

Monetary policy

Central banks will be in focus this week, with the Fed poised to start a two-day meeting Tuesday and the ECB due to meet on Thursday. Expectations are the Fed will hike interest rates one last time this year, while the ECB is seen as unlikely to alter its monetary policy. Europe's central bank is also due to announce fresh economic forecasts for the region.

On the data front, the U.K. inflation rate hit a five-year-high of 3.1 percent Tuesday, according to data released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

In commodity markets, oil prices shot past $65 a barrel for the first time since mid-2015 Tuesday, after the shutdown of the Forties North Sea pipeline caused a significant reduction of supply on the market. Prices traded lower toward the end of the session, with Brent down 0.92 percent and trading at $63.77 a barrel while WTI was down 0.67 percent, being sold at $57.32 at about 4:56 p.m. London time.

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- Reuters contributed to this report.