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Europe stocks close higher as global investors look to U.S. jobs data; Knorr Bremse down 12%

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Key Points
  • Euro zone economic sentiment rallied to a 21-year high in June as further reopening boosted optimism.
  • Global investors are also looking ahead to potentially significant U.S. labor market data later in the week.

European stocks rose on Tuesday as global investors monitored the spread of the delta Covid-19 variant and awaited key economic data out of the U.S.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 closed higher by 0.4%, with chemicals shares climbing 0.9% to lead the gains.

The positive trade for Europe bucks the trend set in Asia-Pacific, where shares retreated on Tuesday despite overnight gains on Wall Street. U.S. stocks were broadly higher on Tuesday.

In commodity markets, oil prices reversed earlier losses as hopes for a recovery in fuel demand outweighed fears over a rise in Covid-19 infections.

Concerns over the rapid spread of the new highly contagious Covid-19 delta variant have dented sentiment in Asia-Pacific, with several countries in the region battling outbreaks.

Global investors are also looking ahead to potentially significant U.S. labor market data later in the week, as markets look to gauge whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will be forced to consider tightening monetary policy sooner than planned. The Labor Department's key jobs report is due Friday.

Back in Europe, European Central Bank policymakers on Monday began a public discussion about when and how to wind down the massive emergency bond purchase program launched last year to support the euro zone economy through the pandemic.

Euro zone economic sentiment rallied to a 21-year high in June as further reopening boosted optimism, according to the European Commission's monthly sentiment survey. Economic sentiment rose to 117.9 points from 114.5 in May, ahead of a consensus estimate of 116.5 from economists in a Reuters poll.

Meanwhile euro zone consumer inflation expectations came in at 27.1 in June, up from 22.2 in May, and producer price expectations rose from 29.9 in May to 36.0 in June.

German annual consumer price inflation rose by 2.1% in June, slightly down from a 2.4% increase in May. That was still above the ECB's target of close to but below 2%, however.

In terms of individual share price movement, French electrical equipment company Rexel climbed 4.6% after raising its 2021 profit guidance.

At the bottom of the Stoxx 600, shares of German brakes maker Knorr Bremse plunged 12% after it said it was interested in buying a 60% stake in automotive lighting firm Hella.

Elsewhere, Anglo-German travel operator Tui fell 5% after a convertible bond announcement.

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