Investing.com - European stocks pushed higher on Tuesday, even as German business climate data declined this month, as hopes of fresh stimulus measures by China continued to support equity markets.
During European afternoon trade, the DJ Euro Stoxx 50 advanced 1.40%, France’s CAC 40 surged 1.42%, while Germany’s DAX rallied 1.53%.
A report showed that the German Ifo business confidence index dropped to 110.7 in March from 111.3 in February, the first decline in five months.
The expectations component of the index weakened as concerns over the impact of the Crimea crisis weighed, but the current assessment component continued to improve, rising to the highest level since April 2012.
Equity markets strengthened amid speculation China could announce fresh stimulus measures to bolster growth after a report on Monday showed that Chinese manufacturing activity deteriorated for a third successive month in March.
Financial stocks remained broadly higher, as French lenders BNP Paribas (BNPP.PAR) and Societe Generale (SOGN.PAR) rose 0.79% and 0.23%, while Germany''s Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.XETRA) climbed 0.82%.
Among peripheral lenders, Italy''s Unicredit (CRDI.MILAN) gained 0.35%, while Santander (SAN.MADRID) advanced 0.45% in Spain.
Elswehere, Luxottica Group (LUX.MILAN) surged 3.52% after saying it will begin designing Ray-Ban and Oakley glasses that use Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) technology.
German engineering company Siemens (SIEGn.XETRA) was also on the upside, climbing 0.64%, after saying it plans to invest £160 million in a wind turbine production plant in Yorkshire, northern England.
In London, commodity-heavy FTSE 100 jumped 1.11%, still supported by sharp gains in the mining sector, while official data showed that the annual rate of inflation in the U.K. fell to the lowest level since October 2009 in February.
Shares in Glencore Xstrata (GLEN.LSE) rallied 1.64% and Bhp Billiton (BLT.LSE) advanced 1.82%, while Vedanta Resources (VED.LSE) and Rio Tinto (RIO.LSE) climbed 0.76% and 2.72% respectively.
Meanwhile, U.K. lenders remained mostly higher. Barclays (BARC.LSE) added 0.18% and HSBC Holdings (HSBA.LSE) gained 0.78%, while the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.LSE) jumped 1.42%. Lloyds Banking (LLOY.LSE) turned slightly lower on the other hand, dipping 0.04%.
Easyjet (EZJ.LSE) added to gains, with shares surging 5.15%, after forecasting that its loss will narrow in the six months through March.
In the U.S., equity markets pointed to a higher open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.17% rise, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.14% gain, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.15% increase.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release report on house price inflation and consumer confidence, as well as official data on new home sales.
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